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Hummus

Hummus is the Arabic and Hebrew word for chick pea. In Israel, it usually refers to a chick pea paste, popular as an appetizer throughout the Middle East. Homemade hummus is much tastier than the canned and packaged varieties, because you can alter the flavoring to suit your tastes and also reserve a few chick peas for decoration.

ingredients

serves 6
2 cups chick peas, soaked overnight in water to cover
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic
juice of 2 lemons
8 tablespoons Tahina 1/4 cup olive oil
1 batch Falafel
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

method

1. Drain the chick peas and rinse in fresh water. Drain again, and put the chick peas in a saucepan; add salt and fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour or until tender, adding water if necessary.

2. Drain the chick peas. Reserve 16 chick peas for a garnish. Blend the garlic, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Gradually add the remaining chick peas and blend until smooth. If the mixture appears too dry to puree, add a little water or oil.

3. Have ready 8 small shallow dishes. Divide the hummus evenly among the dishes, spreading it well over each dish. Drizzle a swirl of tahina about 1 inch from the edge of each plate. Sprinkle the olive oil at the center of each plate, and place 2 whole chick peas in the center.

4. Cook the falafel and arrange balls neatly round the edge of the dishes. Sprinkle the center of each plate liberally with parsley. Cut the hard-cooked eggs lengthwise into quarters and arrange them on the dishes.

5. Sprinkle the center of the dish and the egg yolks with cayenne pepper. Serve immediately, with pita bread. Use the bread to scoop up the dip.

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