Round as the wheel of life so it has no “mouth” to scream out against iniquities, the lentil, like other legumes, has been a food of mourning since Jacob consoled grieving Isaac with lentil soup after Abraham’s death.
Is it to hoodwink the Evil Eye then that Ashkenazi Jews feature mourning foods on the menu at a Shalom Zahar, the joyous celebration held the Friday night after a male child is born?
Perhaps. But I prefer another explanation. In the womb, the
Although “hummus” actually means “chickpea,” quick-cooking lentils are a delicious alternative in the garlicky spread. In this version, sesame tahini is replaced by other tastes from the Middle East, pomegranate and mint, which freshen the bean puree with fragrant, sweet-sour grace notes.
The aromatic za’atar, a Middle Eastern herb blend crusting the toasted matzoh, underscores the tart, fruity flavors in the hummus.
© 2000 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.