As a peace offering, Jimmy Carter offered
 a plate of this stuff to only one side.
 Starting a cold war in the Middle East
 that has never let up since.
Msabbaha is a Middle Eastern chickpea platter. This dish is heavily inspired by the love of hummus, and is in fact so close to it, it shares all of its ingredients. Including hummus! Unlike hummus, it is served hot or warm. Though it doesn't share the former's popularity, it is well loved where it can be found. It is served in many parts of Israel, and can be seen elsewhere across the Middle East, and even the U.S.A., if you look hard enough. If you have tried the hummus recipe contained within these pages, and you're up for an even greater challenge, then you might enjoy a hot plate of... Msabbaha.

For the Msabbaha, you will first need to make a batch of the hummus recipe found here. Don't put away your jar of tahini, because you'll need that as well....


plain yogurt (preferably tangy, and middle eastern brand or style)
parsley (opt.)
peppers (opt.)
cumin (opt.)
olive oil, extra virgin
lemon juice
chick peas


Msabbaha Tahini 

In a bowl, mix equal parts tahini and cold water (e.g. 1/3 cup). Add about two tablespoons of lemon juice, one clove of finely minced garlic (see here for details), and a good pinch of salt. We're looking to create a thin, pale sauce.


Hummus so good, the chef can't keep his hands off
it before serving it to you.
Cook up 3/4 cup of dried chick peas, as instructed in the hummus recipe, ensuring that the chickpeas are whole, but very soft. Drain, but don't rinse, as they should remain hot. Instead, return them to the pot, close the lid, and leave the heat on very low, in order to keep the beans warm.  (n.b. You can cheat by using a 19oz can of chick peas and heating that up in boiling water until very soft. But the msabbaha won't have the same taste). In a large bowl (which we'll call "the msabbaha bowl"), combine about one half cup of hummus, with the cooked chick peas, while they are still hot. Pour in the tahini sauce, but do not mix. In a separate bowl, or its own container, stir the yogurt well to thin it out, and pour about 1/4 cup into the msabbaha bowl. Do not mix. Pour 1/4 c of good extra virgin olive oil into the msabbaha bowl. Gently scoop this mixture on to the serving plates. It should be hot or warm, have a soupy consistency, and the ingredients not well combined, so you can see and taste them as separate entities. Once in the serving plate, then they can be stirred a bit to combine. Serve with a salad and you've got a supper. Omit the salad, you've got lunch.

Garnish with paprika, fresh parsley, raw chopped onion, a light pinch of cumin or salt (if desired). Serve with pita bread, pickled peppers or other picked vegetables, or fresh vegetables (tomatoes, mint, cucumber, spring onions, radishes).


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