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Recipe: Meny Vaknin’s Authentic Old City Hummus

Imagine fresh, authentic Israeli hummus made right in your own kitchen. With this simple recipe, that could be a reality. Whether it’s served with grilled chicken skewers as a meal, or as a spread drizzled with fresh olive oil and scooped up with warm pitas, it’s sure to be a healthy, easy crowd pleaser your whole family will enjoy.

This delicious, simple recipe comes from Meny Vaknin, who immigrated to the United States from Israel 12 years ago. Meny Vaknin is the owner and executive chef of MishMish Café in Montclair, New Jersey, where the menu blends his Israeli, Jewish-Morroccan roots and the French techniques and expertise he learned in culinary school. His Smoked Eggplant Dip with feta, lemon confit and za’atar was named one of Time Out New York’s “100 Best Dishes of 2013.” Meny Vaknin is also a two-time winner on the Food Network’s Chopped Champions.



  • 2 cups of dry chickpeas
  • 2  cloves of garlic
  • 2  Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1  Tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • Water
  • Salt


  1. Soak chickpeas in water overnight, making sure the water volume is twice as high as the chickpeas.
  2. Cook chickpeas in water for about 90 minutes, until very soft. Cool.
  3. Place chickpeas in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth consistency (add more water for a thinner hummus).
  4. Salt to taste.
  5. Garnish with paprika, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with warm pita.

Marinated Chicken Skewers


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1  clove garlic, minced
  • 1  Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1  Tbsp white pepper
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Salt


  1. Place chicken in a bowl and coat with the olive oil.
  2. Mix seasoning ingredients and pour over chicken; marinate overnight.
  3. Put chicken on wood skewers, and grill 5 minutes per side.
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