Medz Mama Lucy's Hummus
A Trip To Armenia via Lebanon...
I love Middle Eastern food! Some day, I hope to traipse around the Middle East gobbling up falafel, hummus and lots and lots of pita. For now though, I have the next best thing. My friend Christine’s mom is Armenian and hails from Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, she is a fabulous cook. She raised her three American kids on all the delicacies of her mother’s Armenian kitchen. They still shutter at memories of eggplants roasting on an open flame every Sunday morning!
Lucy has an amazing story. She came here young from her homeland and quickly learned the language (aside from the French, Arabic, and Armenian she already knew)! After a stint as a bank teller, she went on to own a number of successful Antique stores. Talk about the American dream!
Her grandchildren adoringly call her “Mama” short for Medz Mama, which is Armenian for Grandma or (BIG mama) and they worship the ground she walks on. She cooks huge meals for them whenever she visits and her love for her family is tremendous.
We spent the day cooking up Armenian dishes and I was amazed at how easy and delicious her hummus recipe was to make. Move over Sabra, there’s a better, Medz Mama hummus in town!
Lucy’s hummus is a hot commodity with her family. Its requested at all family gatherings and if her daughter Christine goes to a dinner party, her friends won’t let her in the door without it. It’s by far, the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. It’s really hard to go back to the grocery store variety after you try this. And, it’s so easy, you don’t ever have to!
Yields 4 cups
Serves 8 to 12
1lb 13oz can chickpeas (Lucy likes Goya brand) drained but liquid reserved*see note
**reserve 15 to 16 chickpeas for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
½ cup tahini, mixed if separated
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
Pita Bread to serve
Put all ingredients, except for one garlic clove and ½ lemon juice in food processor for two minutes. Scrape down sides and taste. If you prefer more lemon flavor, add the rest of the lemon juice. If you prefer more garlic, add the other clove. Pulse to incorporate.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pour hummus in a large serving dish. Arrange chickpeas, olives and sprinkle with chopped parsley, paprika and oil. Serve with pita bread.
**If you save hummus to eat the following day, it will become thick in the fridge overnight. Use the reserved bean liquid to loosen it back up in the food processor.
Bonus Recipe from Lucy
Take your leftover hummus and mix with some plain Greek yogurt and lemon juice to desired consistency. It’s a great dip for veggies or dressing for salad!
**Armenian Nonna tip: Do not dip your pita in the communal hummus bowl! Armenians believe the gluten in the pita will taint the taste of the hummus so remember, grab the spoon and put it in your own plate!