Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hummus (Serves 4)

I have been wanting to make my own Hummus for a long time now. It's one of the middle eastern foods that I am very fond of, one that I always eat in restaurants or off the shelf. I have to admit that many places aren't that good in their creation of this dish unless one goes to an authentic middle eastern restaurant, or if it's made properly. Well that's we are going to do.

If you let your imagination run wild with the right ingredient combinations, you can come up with a real good hummus.

Which is what I exactly did, and ended up with a hummus that is really delicious. I share it with you here.

2 cups cooked chick peas
5 cloves garlic chopped into small pieces
1/4 tsp salt or according to taste
1/2 tsp red chili or cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp white sesame seeds toasted until light brown
1 1/2 tbsp worth of fresh coriander or parsley & mint leaves chopped fine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest*
4 medium green chilis or jalapeno peppers (with all seeds and stem removed) and chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

* zest is the outer skin of lemons or oranges. It has a strong delicious citrus flavor. In this case, take a grater and grate just the yellow part of the lemon skin.

You can use store bought canned chick peas (garbanzo beans) or cook it yourself in a pressure cooker (which will take some effort). Save the water in the can, and give the chick peas a rinse in cold water.

In a large bowl, add the chick peas with the water that comes along in the can, extra virgin olive oil (this really adds great flavor to the hummus compared to light olive oil), garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, coriander and mint leaves, and lemon juice. Grind this mixture in a blender till it becomes a fine paste.

Pour this in a serving bowl, drizzle a bit of additional olive oil on top, or in the center, and garnish the hummus with the lemon zest and chilis. You have to experience the enhanced flavor that the lemon zest and green chilis bring to the hummus, which is just fantastic!

Serve with pita bread, chapatti, celery, cucumbers, tortilla chips or just eat it as is. Perfect while entertaining friends.

Health Rating: High

Substitute Ingredient/s: Too small a place to write about other ingredients; I think I will just come out with different combinations and post them separately :-)