Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are firm and chewy, with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. They are widely used in Italian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cooking. If you've tried hummus, you've had chickpeas.
Reserving 1/4 cup liquid from can, drain chickpeas in a colander. Rinse chickpeas well under cold water; shake off excess water.
Process chickpeas and reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cayenne, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a food processor.
Transfer mixture to a serving dish. If desired, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with paprika.
This can be refrigerated, covered, up to one week. Use it in sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables and toasted pita bread.