Sunday, October 7, 2012

HUMMUS - HUMUS


Hummus is a Levantine originated dish of Chick-Peas (or called Garbanzo Bean) and Tahini. Levant area covering Syria, South East part of Turkey (especially Antakya), Iraq, Israel, Palestinian, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt (only difference they make tahini with un-hulled seeds).

Hummus is a healthy appetizer. It is full of protein and fiber. It can be used as a dip or a sandwich/wrap spread. It is made from cooked, mashed chick-peas, Tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, spices and garlic.

Hummus is very versatile dish. You can add olives, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, walnut, pistachio, pastirma, sucuk, (Turkish pastrami and sausage) cilantro, mint, parsley, jalapeno peppers and so on. You need to use your imaginations.

Tahini (Turkish Tahin) is a paste made from ground, sesame seeds (hull or husk part removed) Tahini made from raw or toasted sesame seeds. It is high in calcium and protein Addition to vegetarian diets, as well as to raw food diets might useful Compared to peanut butter, Tahini has higher levels of fiber and calcium and lower levels of sugar and saturated fats. Also Tahini is a good source of copper, manganese, methionine, omega-3 and omega-6. Tahini is a healthy ingredient. In Turkish cooking and baking it is a common ingredient. I will give more Tahini recipes in the future. Tahini is used in North African, Greek, Middle Eastern, and Asian cooking. It can be purchased at health food stores, and specialty markets.

This recipe makes about 4 cups
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Very easy recipe
No cooking involved 

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz or 425 gr) of Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas washed and drained
Total about 3 cups cooked Chick peas. (Optional you can save 2 tbsp for garnishing
1/2 to 3/4 cup Tahini (adjust to your taste)
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, mashed (about 2 tsp)
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup, adjust according to your taste)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp dry mint (optional)
2-3 tbsp water (if it is too thick)

For this recipe I add yogurt to give tanginess and also soften the taste of tahini.


Directions:

1. Put the chickpeas, Tahini, olive oil, yogurt and lemon juice in a blender or a food processor and blend to a silky and smooth paste. Scrap the sides of the blender couple times during this process.

2. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, mint, salt and pepper and blend again. Scrape the sides of the blender. If humus is too thick add couple of tbsp water. Blend until a very smooth paste is formed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Lemon juice is a natural preservative so humus will last about a week in the refrigerator. Some people use citric acid instead of lemon juice when lemon is not available. That is fine too. You can freeze hummus and keep a couple of months in the freezer).

3. Transfer the hummus in a nice serving plate, spread and garnish with paprika, parsley or mint and 1 tsp olive oil. You can garnish with the reserved beans.

4. You can serve with warm pita bread, fresh French bread, crackers, pita chips (Cut the pita bread into small triangles. Brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F preheated oven) or raw vegetables (cucumber, carrot, radish, celery, pepper, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini).

NOTE: If you want to use dried Chick Peas-Garbanzo Beans then you need to soak the beans in a large pot of water overnight. Next day wash the Chick Peas and add enough water to cover the Chick Peas, cook on medium low heat about one hour. Add hot water if necessary. The Chick Peas need be very soft and tender.

Paprika and parsley garnished Hummus (top), Turkish Pul Biber and dill garnished Hummus (bottom)


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