Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Hummus - a nutritious dip
Hummus is one simple, easy to make at home delicious dip. It can be served as an appetizer dip with breads. In Egypt, it is served with pita bread and typically, you may cut the bread open and fill the hummus inside and partake the same.
It is a creamy mixture of soaked and cooked Garbanzo beans (chick peas) ground along with thahini and olive oil, seasoned with generous amounts of garlic and juice of lime.
According to Egyptians, it is an ancient recipe that dates centuries back.
The recipe I am sharing here today is one of the simple recipes known. The recipe is diabetic friendly, iron rich, dietary fibre rich and is vegan diet too.
Usually the canned peas are pureed along with thahini (recipe given under). I have however, soaked chickpeas and cooked it until soft to use in this recipe. You may remove the skin of the chick peas to obtain a smooth texture. I have not done so and hence the texture is slightly coarse, but does not compromise the taste.
1/2 cup chick peas, cleaned and soaked overnight
1 and 1/2 tablespoon thahini paste (check recipe below)
2 or 3 tablespoons lemon juice (you may increase if you like the sour taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole garlic (about 8 healthy cloves of garlic)
1 teaspoon ground pepper (entirely optional)
1/4 cup sesame seeds evenly roasted until aromatic
2 tablespoons olive oil or sesame seeds oil
Salt to taste
1/3 cup lukewarm water
Run the sesame seeds and the salt in a spice mixer adding gradually the oil. When it blends, add the tepid water also gradually and grind until a smooth paste is obtained.
This is the basic thahini recipe.
You may dilute this and make thahini sauce. This paste keeps well for many days. It can be used in many ways as an ingredient in main recipes.
Method for preparing hummus:
Drain the water from the chick peas. Add fresh water to the chickpeas and pressure cook until it is soft and breaks when pressed between fingers.
Drain the chickpeas from the cooked water and reserve the water for later use while grinding.
Allow the chick peas to cool. If you desire to remove the skin, peel it off gently. (I recommend you retain the skin, for it has sufficient dietary fibre.)
Place the chick peas in the jar of a blender. Add the garlic, thahini, pepper and salt. blend at a medium speed initially. Add the oil and the lemon juice while blending them.
Gradually add required quantity of the reserved water and blend further until a creamy mixture is obtained.
Remove from the blender and transfer to storing jars. Add more oil and store for a few weeks too.
This keeps well for a few days while refrigerated.
serve as a dip with breads, crisps and such. Or you may serve with vegetable salad as a topping too. Add some cooked chickpeas to the hummus and serve.
Some variations are that you can grind without pepper, add chilli peppers and so on. However, adding chilli peppers will reduce shelf life.