A few days ago, we had some delicious hummus, pickled vegetables and pita bread in a small traditional eatery in Bur Dubai. It was so wholesome and filling that I decided to try to make it once back home. Incidentally, Reshmy at BombayCHowparty showed us an awesome way to make a creamy, flavorful hummus.
Plus, being made from chickpeas it is very nutritious! Low in cholesterol and high in manganese, it does make for a healthy snack. Pair it up with diced carrots, cucumbers and lavash. Incredibly versatile, it can even be used as a spread on crackers, in a wrap or in sandwiches. Way to go!
Hummus requires some pre-planning. The chickpeas or chhole have to be soaked overnight. Alternatively, you can drain and use canned chickpeas.
The traditional hummus consists only of chickpeas, tahini paste (sesame seeds), oil and salt. But we can spice it up with almost anything. The sky is the limit. In fact, we even saw hummus ice-cream (didn’t have the heart to try it then, but its on the To-eat list.)
Hummus is actually Arabic for chic peas. But it has now become synonymous with the dip. Hummus bi tahini is the original with sumac, zatar or cilantro.
This time, I experimented with paprika and olives. But mint/ oregano / basil / roasted onions would go brilliantly well. Next on my list is to make raw mango infused hummus replacing the lemon juice. Let me know what else you think will work well in this.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon – juiced
- About 2 tablespoons water
Wash 1 cup of chickpeas and soak it overnight in water. It will double up in volume the next day.
What distinguishes a smooth silky hummus from others is the peeling off of the chickpea skin. There are several methods to do so. The one with which I got the best result was the one recommended by Reshmy.
- In a big pan, saute the chickpeas for 3-4 minutes with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. This helps loosen the skin and it comes off easily when the they are rinsed in water.
- Boil the rinsed and peeled chickpeas to a point when they can be easily crushed between two fingers. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour in a pan or half an hour in a pressure cooker.
- Now in a mixer, grind the chickpeas, sesame seeds, garlic, and lemon juice with the olive oil. Add water if it feels very thick or dry. Again add lots of olive oil and salt and grind till it forms a smooth mixture.
This is the basic hummus.
Separate it in three parts and add paprika to one batch and green olives to the other, grinding till all of it gets evenly incorporated. Taste it and add more salt/paprika etc. if required.
We had it before dinner and so served it with carrots, cucumber and lavash.
Hummus will stay fresh in the fridge for over a week. Just let it sit at room temperature for some time before serving. Enjoy your share of 13th century Arabic cuisine.
Also see : Eggplant rolls with hummus