Chickpeas, among many other legumes, were staple food of the Middle East since ancient times. They were first grown in the ancient Egypt, from where they have spread to Middle East, Africa, India, and today this humble crop is grown almost everywhere. However, until recently, these little peas were called “the food of the poor”, and they were mostly eaten by the lower class citizens. The famous hummus was also a peasant food until the twentieth century, when its popularity spread over the world. Now everybody enjoy it, you can purchase it pretty much everywhere, order it in a restaurant, or simply pick it from a supermarket shell. But when made fresh, the chickpea spread is so much tastier. And if you have any kind of kitchen gadget like blender, or food processor, it is very easy to make it. Plus, you can add any other ingredient that you prefer and make your own favorite chickpea spread / hummus recipe.
First of all, you will have to purchase some good quality dried chickpeas – the canned peas could be used also, but the taste of spread will not be as rich, as when made with the dried chickpeas, and you can easily found it in a whole food stores, or health food stores. The rule for any kind of dish made with dried chickpeas is that they have to be soaked in water night before being used.
- 6 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 200 grams / 7 ounces chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 spring onions (or one smaller onion)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt (or to taste)
- blender / food processor
- non-stick pan
- cooking pot
- smaller bowl
- lemon squeezer
- cutting board
- wooden spoon
- Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain the water and refill the pot with approximately triple volume of water to peas, cover the pot and cook on medium heat about 40 minutes up to an hour, or until tender. Drain the chickpeas, but save the broth. Set aside to cool.
- Dry fry sesame seeds in a non-stick pan until golden. Leave it to cool, then put it in a blender / food processor with just a little chickpea broth and blend it well.
- Finely chop spring onions (or one smaller onion) and parsley, add it in a blender together with lemon juice, chickpeas, cayenne pepper and just a pinch of salt and blend it until smooth. Just before the end, add olive oil, and if the mixture is too dry, add one by one tablespoon of saved broth, until you get fine and light consistency.
- Check the taste and add lemon juice or salt, if the flavor is too bland for your taste.
- Transfer it in a bowl and leave in the refrigerator. The spread will get thicker, smoother and tastier in about an hour.
- Although these kinds of spreads are primarily a breakfast food, you can serve it as a snack, or appetizer whenever. Just have some nice artisan bread by your hand, toast it, rub it lightly with fresh garlic and let your senses enjoy the unique Middle Eastern ingredient mixture.
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