• ¼ cup olive oil, divided in half
• 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 large jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 T tomato paste
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 1 tsp paprika plus additional for garnish
• 2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
• 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed well and drained
• ¼ cup cashew butter or sesame tahini
• ¼ cup water
• 2 T fresh lemon juice
• ¾ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• optional garnishes: toasted cumin seeds*; chopped tomato; Hari Chutney (see recipe in this blog)
*To toast the cumin seeds, place 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds in a dry skillet and place over medium-low heat. Occasionally shake the skillet back and forth gently until the seeds are very aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Transfer to a small dish to cool.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onions and hot pepper and sauté until the onions are lightly golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika and ginger and stir to combine. Sauté until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Add the garbanzo beans, cashew butter or tahini, water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and salt to a blender. Add the sautéed mixture. Cover and process until very smooth. Add additional water as needed for processing (this shouldn’t be necessary).
Taste the mixture and add salt to taste as desired. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate until well-chilled. The mixture will thicken upon chilling. To serve, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with toasted cumin seeds. Also garnish with chopped tomato and Hari Chutney, if desired. Serve with wedges of pita or crackers; or use as a dip for fresh vegetables. Channa Masala Hummus also makes a unique sandwich spread.