Wash chick peas well, cover with the water and soak for 12 hours or overnight.
Boil gently for 2 hours in the water in which they were soaked, add 1 teaspoon salt and cook until very tender, about 3 hours in all. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid and 1 tablespoon of the peas.
Press peas through a sieve or food mill, adding about 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to separate the last of the peas from the skins.
Slowly blend the tahini and most of the lemon juice into the puree.
Crush garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar and add to puree. Adjust flavour and consistency with lemon juice or cooking liquid and add salt if necessary. Hummus should be thick and smooth.
Spread in a shallow serving dish, swirling it with back of a spoon. Pour olive oil in centre and garnish with reserved chick peas, chopped parsley and a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne pepper. Makes 3 cups.
Cooking time: 3 hours
Blender or food processor method: Puree peas to separate skins, add to container or processor bowl with remaining ingredients, holding back some lemon juice and salt to adjust flavour. Blend or process until thick and smooth. Note: Even if using a modern appliance the chick peas must be separated from their skins for a successful hummus.
Preparation time can be shortened by removing the skins either after the initial soaking, or after boiling.