Nothing beats freshly made hummus. Serve it warm with all the trimmings for the maximum effect.
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
1 pound 2 ounces small dry chickpeas
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raw tahini
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of cold water with one tablespoon of baking soda.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large pan. Add water until it reaches an inch above the chickpeas. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and bring to a boil. Cook covered over low heat for 2 to 3 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft. Cool slightly, drain and save some of the cooking liquid.
Put the chickpeas in a food processor, add 2/3 cup of the tahini and process until almost smooth. If the paste is too thick, add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Season with lemon, garlic and salt; taste and adjust the seasoning. For a richer creamier version, add the remaining tahini and process until the hummus is completely smooth and fluffy.
Variations: Galilee Style Hummus: Set aside 1 cup of cooked chickpeas. Purée the rest with 1/2 cup of raw tahini and the seasonings. Add the whole chickpeas and mix, slightly mashing the chickpeas. The texture should remain somewhat chunky.
Since soaking and cooking chickpeas takes a lot of time, you might want to double the amount and freeze in them in small batches with some of the cooking liquid. Before making a new batch of hummus: defrost in the microwave or heat with the liquid over low fire until they are tender and warm.
Another option is to use preserved chickpeas (preferably organic ones). Cook them briefly in preserving liquid until they are very soft.