Chick Peas with Sesame Oil Sauce


Anyone familiar with Middle Eastern food recognizes this rich sauce as a favorite. It always appears with meza and is becoming popular at western-style cocktail parties. Dip it up with pieces of Arabic bread, or spread it on crackers like peanut butter, or serve it as a sauce with lahm mashwi, kibbeh or kafta - it is good in many ways. Here are three methods of preparing hummus bi taheeni.

In the pressure cooker:

        2 1/2 cups hummus, soaked overnight with hay tsp. soda
        1 cup taheeni
        1 1/2 cups lemon juice, or more to taste
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        5 cloves garlic
        2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Wash peas well and pick over. Place in pressure cooker with water to cover and salt. Cook 20 minutes under pressure. Press cooked peas through sieve or food mill. To the pea puree slowly add taheeni and lemon juice, alternately. Add garlic crushed with salt. Sauce should be thick and smooth but if it seems too thick, thin with water. Pour sauce onto serving platter. Garnish with parsley and a few whole cooked peas. Drizzle a little olive oil over the sauce. Chill. Makes approximately six cups of sauce.

In an open pan: Use same ingredients as above. Boil soaked peas in fresh water until very tender, adding more water during cooking if necessary. Puree the cooked peas and combine with remaining ingredients as above. Peas will require several hours cooking to become tender.

Quick electric blender method: Use one-third the amounts given above and substitute one cup of canned cooked chick peas (garbanzos) for the dried ones. Pour lemon juice into blender, slowly add taheeni and crushed garlic and salt. Gradually add peas, a few at a time. Blend very smooth. Chill.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)