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Recipe of the week: Hummus from “Balaboosta”

Addie Broyles

Though a successful New York business woman, Einat Admony embraces housewifery.

Not the “run-of-the-mill, hyperefficient housewife,” but the Yiddish “balaboosta,” which is often translated to mean “a perfect housewife,” but in her mind is a true “owner of the house,” who “lives life with gusto, shuns fear, and relies on instinct over precision,” Admony writes in her new cookbook.

The book, “Balaboosta” (Artisan, $29.95), is named for her Nolita restaurant, but it takes readers deep into Admony’s family history, to Iran, Israel and Yemen, and into Admony’s home, where she and her husband, Stefan, who have two young children, are bringing balaboosta into the 21st century.

Admony will be in Austin for a cooking class at Central Market North on Sept. 25 ($60, including a copy of the book) that will feature dishes including a salmon ceviche and Israeli shepherd’s pie, but we’re keeping it simple for this week’s featured recipe: a hummus from Stefan that, with many years of work, is as close to a perfect hummus recipe as you’ll find.

My Hubby’s Hummus

This recipe brings to mind the expression “The student has overtaken the teacher.” Six years ago I taught my husband, Stefan, how to make hummus. Since then, Stefan has become nothing less than a hummus freak, tinkering constantly with my original recipe until, finally, his hummus is far superior to my own. All over the world, the ingredients for hummus are the same. It’s the proportions that make all the difference — and Stef has cracked the code. If you can, start the hummus a day ahead of when you intend to use it by soaking the chickpeas overnight.

— Einat Admony

3 cups dried chickpeas

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda, divided

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/3 cup tahini

3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

5 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika, for garnish

Put the chickpeas and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the baking soda in a bowl. Add cold water to cover and leave to soak overnight.

Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a large pot of water. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and bring to a boil. Boil until the chickpeas are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Skim off any floating shells. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and let the chickpeas cool completely.

Combine the chickpeas, garlic, reserved liquid (see Note), tahini, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, cumin and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.

When ready to serve, put the hummus on a plate or in a shallow bowl, and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the paprika. The hummus can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: If you forget to reserve the cooking liquid, you can substitute 1 cup ice-cold water. But using the cooking liquid will give the hummus a richer, bolder flavor. Makes about 5 cups.

— From “Balaboosta” (Artisan, $29.95) by Einat Admony