Best Hummus (2001)
In the right hands, a chickpea can be a beautiful thing. In the wrong ones (say, most companies that mash 'em up, toss in some garlic and oil and sell them in tubs at grocery stores), they can be a sticky, bland mess akin to a slightly flavored wallpaper paste. Ali Baba adds just the right amount of garlic, tahini and olive oil, mixes until smooth and almost creamy and serves it in the middle of a plate full of hot, chewy triangles of nan. It's tasty enough for an entire meal without overwhelming the palate, but don't stop there. The other Syrian and Middle Eastern dishes are just as good.