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Msbaha, Tahina With Chickpeas

June 02, 2021
Photo: ShutterstockPhoto: Shutterstock

In the 1960s and early 1970s when Americans were traveling abroad, they often came back with the taste of garlicky hummus on their breath. The mixture of chickpeas and tahini, or sesame seed paste, was delicious, it was exotic, and later, with the advent of the food processor, it was easy to prepare. When I lived in Jerusalem in the early 1970s, I fell in love twice—first with the man who would become my husband, and second, with hummus. When I got married in 1974, I requested hummus at my wedding and gave the caterer a recipe for the dip. One person who had never tasted this before thought my recipe—with its hint of that exotic spice, cumin—was so good I could sell it to Zabar’s. I didn’t heed the call but others did, and today hummus is marketed around the world.

Featured in: Dip of Nations


  • ¾ cup tahina
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup warm chickpeas
  • 1clove garlic
  • 1cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Yield: about 1 ½ cups or 4–6 servings as a dip


  • Step 1

    In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the tahina, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth. If the tahina is still too thick, add a few tablespoons of water and it will thin down and become a pleasing white color.

  • Step 2

    Add the parsley and salt and pepper and pulse until blended. Adjust the seasonings and put in a flat bowl.

  • Step 3

    Drizzle some olive oil over all, scatter the warm chickpeas on top, put in the microwave for about 10 seconds, and serve.

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