I never heard of hummus until I started going to Jon’s family’s functions. It doesn’t make a very good first impression, does it? Sitting there all gloppy and brown? For a long time I swerved right around it on my way to the kugel. Over the years I’ve become a more adventurous eater, though, and have found that hummus, well made, is delicious. Good with little triangles of pita bread, as Jon’s family serves it, or on chips. Even better spread on your favorite sandwich. (Well, maybe not if your favorite sandwich is a fluffenutter.)

So live a little. Try the gloppy brown stuff. If I can do it, you can too. You can forget about the gefilte fish, though. That’s just not going to happen.

Hummus

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz water
1/2 cup tahini
4 cloves garlic, peeled *
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin **
1/2 teaspoon salt
few dashes pepper

Toss in a blender til smooth.

*Dagny usually makes this. I asked her how much garlic she uses. Her response? “I don’t know lady! A lot! A lot is always better. I usually end up doubling garlic in anything I make.” To which I reply, “Of course you do! Always double the garlic is a Rue-l.”

**Dagny suggests adding more cumin – to taste – after blending.

As I’ve mentioned, we like leftovers. This recipe makes quite a bit of hummus. Feel free to cut it in half. Or don’t. Dagny thinks the flavor improves after it sits in the fridge for a while. So why not make a bunch?

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This is a very easy recipe, made even easier for me by the fact that I never cook it. Dagny does. She doubles the recipe, which usually means leftovers. The first night we eat it on rice, and I like a sprinkle of salt. Out of the fridge, I like it rolled up in a tortilla and heated. (Although it’s just as good over rice again, too.)

Tomato Chickpea Curry

splash of olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic (Dagny probably uses more than this. Garlic is good.)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes

Heat the oil.
Add onion and garlic, and cook til translucent.
Add spices and stir to coat onions.
Add chickpeas and tomatoes and stir.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Roasted Chickpeas

14.5 oz chickpeas (1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 dashes cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 425.

Roast chickpeas on cookie sheet 10 minutes.

Stir or shake and roast another 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the chickpeas with the other ingredients.

Spread back on cookie sheet and roast 5-15 minutes, until brown and crunchy.