This Middle-Eastern staple has become an Israeli trademark and can be found everywhere in Israel—from grocery stores to fancy restaurants. It’s pretty easy to make at home, so give this a try!


½ kg (1 lb.) dry chickpeas
4 liters water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ cup tahini paste
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Hot pepper (optional)
2 garlic cloves
Ice water


  • 1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight in the refrigerator.
  • 2. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a large pot with water and bicarbonate of soda. Bring to a boil and cook about 1 hour or until the chickpeas are very soft. Cool to room temperature.
  • 3. Place the chickpeas in a food processor with tahini, hot pepper (if using), and garlic cloves. Pulse, and gradually add lemon juice until spreadable. If needed, add a little ice water to achieve desired consistency.
  • 4. Season with salt and serve with pita bread.
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