Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Best Hummos

My Papa immigrated from Armenia with his parents when he was a little boy.  He was a small man (only 5'7") with dark, curly hair and sparkly eyes.  My grandmother, Bajee, on the other hand, is a tall Welsh woman (5'8" without shoes on), who loves to wear high heels and big hats. 

I take after Bajee in a lot of ways: We're both tall, loud, and bold.  We both love to sing and read.  We both have very close relationships to God, and relish the beauty of creation.  We both like to make things with our hands.  We both like to be alone.

Southern Colorado, where Bajee lives.  What, don't you go hiking in hats like that?
Though I may seem Welsh through and through, and stick out like a sore thumb at Armenian gatherings, I still have an Armenian middle name, and a thoroughly Armenian nose.

Told ya. (That's my beautiful goddaughter, by the way.)
I also love Armenian food.  If you're unfamiliar, Armenian food is similar to Lebanese or Persian food: lots of lamb and pilaf, stuffed grape leaves, yogurt (or madzoon, as my mom always called it), mint, and hummos.  It's amazing.

I wanted to share our family's hummos recipe with you, because I've never tasted anything that holds a candle to it.  Make this, and you'll never go back.

Armenian Hummos

adapted from The Armenian Cookbook

Please note that you don't drain the garbanzo beans before blending them.  I did that the first time I tried to make this on my own, and it doesn't work.

1 14-oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 clove garlic, smashed
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup taheen (I know you think it's called tahini.  It's not.  ;-))
olive oil, paprika, and chopped parsley, for garnish

Pour the garbanzo beans and their liquid into a blender, and blend until smooth.  Add garlic, lemon juice, and salt, and blend until combined.  Finally, add taheen, and blend again, just until combined.  Pour into a shallow bowl and sprinkle with olive oil, paprika, and chopped parsley.  Serve with lavash (pita) for dipping.


  1. I love hummos and I can't wait to try this!! I love your middle name...I had wondered about it because I had never heard it before. So beautiful and unusual, what a lovely tribute to your Armenian heritage!

  2. This girl IS a lovely tribute to her Armenian (and Welsh and French) heritage - every single cell of her!

    Madzoon Mamma

  3. Hi Elizabeth, I like your blog. I am also armenian, who lives in Bulgaria. I have a food blog, called Vkusnoteka and experiment in collecting and preparing traditional armenian recipes. I also make the same hummus and I love it. My little daughter is also born in 2012 :) Best regards, Ani Shakaryan