Makes about 4 cups
Michael Solomonov—Zahav, Philadelphia
Before opening Zahav, chef Solomonov took his staff to hummus parlors around Israel in search of the best recipe.
The best traditional version, called hummus masabacha, came from Ali Karavan in Jaffa.
1. In a saucepan, cover the chickpeas and garlic with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking water and 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas and peel the garlic.
2. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/4 cup of the oil and 6 garlic cloves. Add the cumin and 1/4 cup each of the tahini and lemon juice; process until creamy. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl.
3. In the food processor, puree the remaining tahini, oil, lemon juice, reserved cooking water and garlic. Make a well in the hummus and spoon in the tahini. Sprinkle with the reserved chickpeas, paprika and parsley; serve with pita.
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