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Hummus Bi Tahina

Sesame paste - tahini - is what gives hummus its characteristic taste, so look out for some next time you go shopping. There are light and dark versions, so choose light for a more subtle flavour.


This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, How to Cook Book Three and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.


To begin with put the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover them well with boiling water, then put on one side to soak for 2 hours.

Next bring them to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 1½-2 hours until the chickpeas are tender. Then drain them – reserve the cooking liquid and put the chickpeas into a blender together with the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and 5 fl oz (150 ml) of the cooking liquid.

Switch on and blend, adding the tahini paste to the mixture as the blades revolve. (It will probably be necessary to stop the blender every now and then to push the mixture down into the goblet.) The consistency should be something like a mayonnaise and, if you think it's too thick, add a little more of the cooking liquid.

Taste and season with cayenne pepper and salt.

Place in a serving bowl and garnish with a thin layer of olive oil, some chopped parsley and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

Have plenty of fresh, hot, crusty bread as an accompaniment.


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