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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hummus and Tahini

Whenever we visit a restaurant in the Middle East, we come across Hummus, one of the most popular Middle Eastern dips. It is served with fresh or toasted pita bread. It makes for a great snack or appetizer. I wondered what it means. Hummus is a dip/spread made from chickpeas. Hummus in Arabic means chickpea. Little search about hummus yielded that it is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt. And one more thing, the taste of hummus differ from restaurants to restaurants, it is not constant. Some have lemon flavour, some have garlic flavor and some have a spicy tone. So I came to know that while preparing hummus at home, we can keep our taste buds in mind and add a little of this and remove a little of that and still have a great culinary masterpiece. So here goes the recipe for it.


Chickpeas: 1 cup
Lemon juice: 2-3 tsp
Tahini: 1 tsp
Garlic: 2 cloves crushed
Olive oil: 1-2 tsp
Salt: according to taste

Soak chickpeas overnight, drain and cook in a vessel. Set aside the cooked water from the chickpeas. Add ¼ cup of chickpea water and grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste. Put in a serving bowl and create a shallow well in the centre of the hummus. Add 1 tsp of olive oil in the well and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.

Note: If you want spicier hummus, add red chilies; if you love yogurt add ½ cup of it to get a creamy dip.
Hummus can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can add little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Now, let me tell you how to prepare Tahini, which is the most important ingredient in hummus.



Sesame seeds: 1 cup
Olive oil: ¼ cup

Dry roast sesame seeds till you get nice aroma. Do not allow to brown. Cool it and grind it to powder. Add olive oil and grind it to a fine paste.

Note: Tahini can be stored in refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

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