I thought I would share my family recipe of this favourite Middle Eastern meze.
Ingredients (serves 6)
300g chickpeas (dry)
2 tsp bi-carbonate soda
5 heaped tbsp tahini (Good quality)
1 Lemon (juiced)
½ tsp citric acid
1 garlic clove (grated)
Salt (generous pinch)
Extra virgin olive oil
2-3 ice cubes
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water with 1 tsp bi carb. The chickpeas will double in size so leave enough water for them to expand. Leave overnight.
Once soaked, drain and rinse under cold water.
Fill a large saucepan with cold water, and add the chickpeas and the other tsp of bi carb. Bring to the boil. After a few hours, you will notice white foam appearing as they boil.Ignore it or discard. After 2-3 hours, check the chickpeas to see if they are soft to touch. I was taught to throw the chickpea against a flat surface. If it sticks, it’s ready.
Drain in a colander and keep a handful of chickpeas for garnish later.
Place the chickpeas in a food processor, add the tahini, and blitz. Mix the citric acid with the lemon juice. Add to the puree, with the garlic. Add the ice cubes while blending.
Season with salt. You are looking for a smooth paste. Add more ice if it’s too stiff. Taste for seasoning, and add more lemon or garlic to taste.
Tip into a bowl. Create a well in the middle of the bowl with the back of a spoon, turning the bowl while the spoon stays in the centre.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the left over chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika to finish.