Sunday, 1 August 2010

Super-quick Hummus-tahina dip

Hummus (also spelled hoummous, or hoummus, or hummous, or hommos or ...) is THE cornerstone of any Middle Eastern appetizer platter, or Meze. Mostly used as a dip alongside baba ganoush it is also a great spread and healthy Mayo-alternative for sandwiches and burgers. This is the shortcut version of the recipe my Dad once explained to me. The long version would include using dried chickpeas (in the US also known as garbanzo beans) and soaking them overnight in water. Overnight or 5 minutes. You decide which suits you more. And there's hardly any difference in the quality of the outcome.



Ingredients (yields about 3 cups)
  • 2x 400g cans chickpeas, drained (but keep a few tbsp of the liquid) + a handful more to serve
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 big garlic cloves, mashed (using a mortar and pestle and a pinch of salt)
  • 5 tbsp tahina paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more to serve
  • Sweet paprika, to serve
  • Za'atar, to serve
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Method
  1. Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Is the resulting mix too thick for your taste you can add tablespoons of the reserved chickpeas liquid (one at a time) until you get the desired consistency
  3. With the food processor on its lowest setting, gradually add the olive oil to the mixture
  4. Keep in the fridge until serving
  5. To serve, ladle the hummus onto a shallow plate. Decorate with whole chickpeas and sprinkle with paprika, parsley, za'atar and olive oil and serve with vegetable sticks, pita or any other bread of choice.
Afiyet olsun!

Tips for adapting
If you want to bring the hummus for a picnic or use as a spread you could add everything you would sprinkle on when serving on a plate (paprika, parsley, za'atar, etc.) to the food processor and blend together with the other ingredients. Other very yummy variations could include lemon or lime zest, using other spice mixtures (e.g. ras al hanout) or substituting parsley with coriander. When you serving the hummus on a plate you could decorate it with roasted pine nuts, flaked almonds or even pomegranate seeds instead of whole chickpeas.



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