Yet More Khumes
I Insist that the universe needs yet another khumes recipe. Two details of this recipe are learned from my friend Gil, who decorticates every chickpea (Or gets his children to do so) and uses brine from hot Hungarian cherry peppers instead of the traditional lemon juice. I throw one of the cherry peppers in as well.
I relieved the cooked chickpeas of their coverings by scooping up a handful in my right hand, and then pinching each one gently between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand, catching the decorticated pea in the fingertips of my right hand and moving it to the done pile, and dropping the seed coat from my left hand into the peel pile. You will understand that I am unable to provide a photo. You can skip this step and still have some wonderful khumes; I usually do. I just had to try it once, that’s all. Oh, whom am I kidding? I’m gonna decorticate the little blighters every time from now on. It’s a slippery slope, folks.
Yet More Khumes
¾ cup dried chickpeas
salt, about two teaspoons
5 cloves garlic (more or less)
½ - ¾ cup tahini
½ - ¾ cup brine from a jar of pickled Hungarian cherry peppers or other hot peppers (Traditional recipes call for lemon juice)
1 pickled hot Hungarian cherry pepper, stemmed and seeded
Several tablespoons of your loveliest olive oil
A dusting of sumac, and a dusting of paprika or Middle Eastern red pepper
Place the chickpeas in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for two minutes. Drain the chickpeas and discard the water. Pour fresh cold water over the chickpeas and set them to soak in the refrigerator overnight or up to twenty-four hours. If you need to leave the chickpeas soaking more than 12 hours, give them a fresh change of water. When ready to cook, drain the chickpeas and discard the water. The alert reader will note that we have now discarded two or three batches of water. Place the soaked chickpeas in a slow-cooker or saucepan with three cups of fresh water. Set them up to simmer for two to five hours—chickpea-cooking times vary widely.
When the chickpeas are very tender remove them from heat. Drain the chickpeas but this time reserve the liquid. You will have about two cups of cooked chickpeas. If desired, decorticate each chickpea.
Drop the peeled garlic cloves into a processor or other device and grind or mince fine. Add salt, pepper brine, a stemmed and seeded pepper, and the tahini. Blend everything well. Last of all add the chickpeas and their cooking liquid. If you have decorticated the chickpeas, you might not need all the liquid. Blend to the desired consistency, bearing in mind that the khumes will thicken further as it rests.
Turn the khumes out onto a shallow plate or platter. Use the back of a spoon to swirl eddies and ridges in the center and drizzle olive oil over all. Dust with sumac or paprika or both.
Head to Weekend Herb Blogging for more delights and curiosities of the garden.