This thick Middle Eastern sauce is made from mashed chickpeas seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and olive or sesame oil. It's usually served as a dip with pieces of pita, or as a sauce. When tahini (sesame-seed paste) is added, it becomes hummus bi tahina. Middle Eastern markets carry both forms in cans or jars or sometimes fresh.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.