1/2 lb dry chickpeas, soaked & cooked (see The Story)
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic, in large pieces
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil, more as needed
Juice of two lemons
1-2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
Soak & cook the chickpeas; (they take 1 1/2-2 hrs.). Drain & cool; save 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Roast the red pepper over the flames on your gas stove or alternately on the grill: Do Not Cut Up The Pepper! Roast whole, turning each time the skin is charred. Once the whole pepper is blackened, put in a lidded bowl for about 10 minutes to finish cooking and soften the skin. Slip the skin off with your fingers, then cut open the pepper from the top carefully- it will steam- and remove the seeds and ribs. If you can save any accumulated juices from the pepper, you'll be glad you did.
Add the chickpeas and garlic to the food processor. It will be pasty. Add the remaining ingredients in order, blending well. Last, add the pepper and let the machine run for a while to compeletly puree and blend the flavors. Add more olive oil or the cooking liquid if you want a more dip-like consistency; leave it more dry if you use it as a sandwich spread.
Makes more than you think it will, but that's good since it's tasty.
Tahini is a roasted sesame seed paste. My grocery store stocks it with the peanut butter. Make sure to stir it very, very well before measuring- it settles. Store the extra in the fridge until the next time you make hummus or baba ganouj.
Soak the chickpeas at least 4 hours and up to 10 hours. They take 1 1/2-2 hrs to cook: put in large pan with water to cover, bring to boil, reduce to simmer until tender. It's so easy- you weren't going to go the canned route, were you? :)
If you want a creamier, impress-your-guests texture, add lots of extra olive oil and keep the food processor running for a long time. If you're eating this for lunch for the next few days, maybe keep an eye on the fat content. (We eat this for lunch often, with pita bread and carrots.) Don't worry, there's plenty of flavor either way.
The bite of raw garlic becomes stronger the longer this sits in the fridge. Beware!
I know the cumin is non-traditional, but so is the pepper. I like cumin. Leave it out if you don't.