The Middle Eastern chickpea dip called hummus is now as popular as peanut butter in the United States, a development that took place over the last ten years. In Trinidad, hummus has been eaten for nearly one hundred years, arriving with Syrian-Lebanese refugees in the late 1800s. As with many immigrant foods, Syrian hummus was adapted to local ingredients and flavors so that today it features seasoning peppers—or aji dulce—and shado beni (Mexican culantro). I like to use dried chickpeas that are reconstituted and cooked for this recipe because I believe they process to a nice smooth texture without being watery. However, you can use canned chickpeas if you desire.
*If you cannot find aji dulce, ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper is a good substitute.
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