Hummus bi tahina is a popular Middle Eastern dish served as appetizer or meze throughout the Middle East. This dish is served with grilled or toasted pita bread and can also be used as a sandwich or wrap spread.
Hummus bi tahina is a smooth thick mixture of mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), paprika, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic used especially as a dip for pita bread. This delicious dish is also part of the Lebanese meze and this creamy puree is also served simply with crisp pita triangles and cut up fresh vegetables. Hummus is also spelled as hamos, hommos, hommus, homos our humus is a Levantine Arab dip or spread.
Hummus bi tahina means chickpeas with sesame paste as the word comes from Arabic word ‘ḥimmaṣ’ which means chickpeas and tahini means sesame paste. Hummus is actually related as a very ancient food but there is no specific evidence for this purported ancient history of hummus bi tahina. Chickpeas were widely eaten in this region and were often cooked in stew and other hot dishes.
The earliest known recipes for something similar to hummus bi tahini date to 13th century Egypt. A cold purée of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons with herbs, spices, and oil, but no tahini or garlic, appears in the Kitāb al-Wusla ilā l-habīb fī wasf al-tayyibāt wa-l-tīb; and a purée of chickpeas and tahini called hummus kasa appears in the Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada: it is based on puréed chickpeas and tahini, and acidulated with vinegar (though not lemon), but it also contains many spices, herbs, and nuts, and no garlic. It is also served by rolling it out and letting it sit overnight, which presumably gives it a very different texture from hummus bi tahini.
Hummus bi Tahini (chickpeas with sesame paste) is remarkably popular throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. Hummus bi tahina is also served as an accompaniment to falafel, grilled chicken or fish. Garnishes include chopped tomato, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, whole chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, sumac, ful, olives, pickles and pine nuts whereas outside the Middle East, it is sometimes served with tortilla chops or crackers.
For preparing this appetizing and refreshing Hummus bi Tahina, firstly drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for about an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water.
Process or beat the chickpean in a blender (or food processor) with lemon juice, tahina, garlic, salt to taste and enough of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft creamy consistency. Serve on a flat plate garnished with a dribble of olive oil and a dusting of paprika (this is usually done in the shape of a cross) and a little parsley. Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.
Tip: The chickpeas can be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated. Good tahini (sesame paste) has a sweet, nutty flavor without a trace of bitterness. Hence be sure to stir any separated oil back into the tahini before measuring.
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Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the chickpeas. Depending on the recipe, hummus carries varying amounts of monounsaturated fat. Hummus is useful in vegetarian and vegan diets; like other combinations of grains and pulses, it serves as a complete protein when eaten with bread.