There are many versions of this classic Middle Eastern dip and most of them are made with raw garlic.  I prefer to use roasted garlic as it is a little more subtle and the garlic doesn’t appear to linger quite as much.  This is a basic that is a must in every household as far as I am concerned.  It freezes brilliantly, makes a great lunchbox snack and is a perfect accompaniment to all kinds of Middle Eastern fare.


Prep time:  10  minutes              Cooking time:  30  Minutes                 $  Low Budget


Makes a double batch which feeds multitudes!


2 whole heads of garlic

2 x 400gm tins of chickpeas

2 tbs of tahini

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup of water

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Toasted sesame seeds and sweet paprika for garnish (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 180°C.


Tear off two largish pieces of tin foil and place the garlic bulbs in the centre of each, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Wrap the tin foil loosely around the garlic (this helps it to steam) but make sure the edges are wrapped nice and firmly  so no steam can escape.  Bake the garlic in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the garlic is nice and mushy.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly until you can squeeze the garlic out of its skin with your hands.  Use a fork to mash it to a fine paste.


Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor with the garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper.  Blend until you have a nice smooth paste.  If the mixture is too thick add some water, a tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency.  You don’t want to add all the water in one go in case it turns out runny.  It should be nice and creamy……


I like to garnish mine with toasted sesame seeds, a sprinkle of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil when serving it to guests.