Pita Jungle is a true home-grown success story. Bassel Osmani, born in France and raised in Lebanon, came to Arizona in 1985 to attend ASU. While studying bio-engineering, Osmani met Nelly Kohsok and Fouad Khodr, two other students. After graduating, the three friends founded Pita Jungle to serve fresh food, made from scratch daily.
The three started with $15,000 and built the first restaurant in Tempe by hand with the help of a single handyman. Today, Osmani and his partners have 24 locations throughout Arizona, including the Pita Jungle Arrowhead location. Osmani remains a hands-on leader at Pita Jungle and loves to oversee the menus. When not at work, Osmani spends time with his family, sampling food and wine from around the world, sailing, and windsurfing.
Osmani shares a version of one of the restaurant's famous hummus recipes, which is ideal for a hot August day. You can try this Avocado Hummus at home but stop by Pita Jungle for the Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus. It's a bright taste of the Southwest. PitaJungle.com
Yield: 8 Servings
1 cup drained well-cooked (or canned) chickpeas
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
1 garlic clove, peeled
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
How to make hummus:
Add all ingredients to a blender.
Emulsify for 1 to 2 minutes. You can add up to an additional 1/4 cup water if needed. Your hummus should have the consistency of a spread.
Place the hummus in a bowl or plate to serve. Add any desired toppings, such as diced tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.
Serve with your choice of pita, chips or veggies.