page 13 Ace, January 15 2009
BY DAVE OVERTON
Every now and then I get a major jones for some good hummus. And not some mediocre, garden-variety, grocery store hummus either. The only way I've found so far to sate this terrible all-consuming hunger is to make my own. All you really need is a food processor, some garbanzo beans (otherwise known as chick peas), extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, tahini (sesame seed paste), and some salt. You can throw in some extra stuff like lemon juice and some other herbs and spices, but I like my hummus fairly plain.
Now, if you're like me, you have the olive oil, garlic, and tahini on hand. If not, you have a few options.
The best option for garlic is to wait until the farmers' market opens and then go see Leo at Blue Moon Farm. If you really need some hummus badly, and not some really bad hummus, Good Foods Coop on Southland also carries Leo's garlic as well. It's worth the trip.
While you're over this way, stop across the street at Ali Baba to get the tahini. They also have large (#10) cans of garbanzos if you want to make a lot of hummus in a hurry.
They also carry lamb and goat meat, dates, and a good variety of other middle-eastern and Mediterranean ingredients. If you're in a huge hurry, they've also started making their own hummus and selling it to go. You can also pick up some sumac while you are there. Sumac is a red powder that has a light citrus taste and a pleasant crunch when sprinkled over hummus. I use about ten cloves of garlic and one pound of dried beans to make a fairly large batch of hummus.
Even if you're not a big hummus fan (I never was before I made my own), it's still worth the small adventure to stop by Ali Baba.
They have a wide variety of olive oils, lentils, rice, and beans, both dried and canned.
They also sell halal meat (the Islamic equivalent of kosher). While you can get some of these ingredients from the Disco Kroger, you'll find the prices reasonable at Ali Baba, and you can support a local small-business person.
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