* 175 g (6 oz.) chick-peas, picked clean and soaked overnight
* To Garnish: 1 or 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, A little cayenne pepper or paprika
* 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
* 2 tablespoons tahini paste (optional, but add more oil if not used)
* Juice of 1 and a half lemons
* 1 and a half teaspoons ground cumin
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 300 ml (1/2 pint) chick-pea cooking liquid
* Salt and black pepper


Rinse the chick-peas. Cover with plenty of water in a large pan, bring to the boil and skim until clear. Cover and cook until soft: in a pressure cooker they will take 15-20 minutes; otherwise a little over 1 hour, according to their age. Strain the chick-peas, reserving the cooking liquid. divide all the ingredients in two and place the first batch in a food processor or liquidiser; blend until grainy and of a runny consistency. If too dry, add more liquid and then adjust the seasoning and blend it in briefly. Make the second batch in the same fashion. Pour on to a flat platter, and sprinkle the oil and the cayenne pepper or paprika decoratively on top before serving.

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