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Hummus ful

September 16, 2009

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Serves 6

Though this dish can be made with canned beans, it’s best to use dried ones and soak them overnight. Dried chickpeas are at most supermarkets; small dried favas are at Middle Eastern stores, as is tahini. They can be cooked alongside one another, after which they meet in their duet (or duel). Adjust spices and heat according to taste.

HUMMUS

1 pound dried chickpeas
Cooking liquid from simmering chickpeas
1 cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
1. In a bowl, soak the chickpeas in water to cover them by several inches. Set aside at room temperature overnight.

2. Rinse the beans, tip them in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender, skimming any foam from the surface.

3. Dip a 2-cup heatproof measuring cup into the pot. Remove about 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid; set aside. Drain the chickpeas.

4. In a food processor, work the warm chickpeas with a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid until they are smooth.

5. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt. Continue pulsing the mixture, adding more bean cooking liquid, if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and just holds its shape.

FUL

1 pound dried small fava beans
Cooking liquid from simmering favas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 small hot chili peppers, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
1. In a bowl, soak the favas in water to cover them by several inches. Set aside at room temperature overnight.

2. Rinse the beans, tip them in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender, skimming any foam from the surface.

3. Dip a 2-cup heatproof measuring cup into the pot. Remove about 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid; set aside. Drain the beans.

4. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil and add the cilantro, chilies, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

5. Stir in the cumin and salt. Add the favas and enough of the fava cooking liquid to make a stewy consistency. With a potato masher, puree about half the beans (or more, if want a smoother mixture).

6. Spoon a ladleful of hummus onto a large deep plate. With the back of a spoon, shape the hummus into a bowl. Add a ladle of the ful. Serve with pita.

Ted Weesner Jr.