Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hummus dip

It was no so long ago when I first tasted hummus dip. I was a graduate student in New York City and one of my classmates, who was from Israel, took me to a falafel fast food, yet authentic Middle Eastern restaurant. Falafel is a fried ball made of chickpeas. This is very popular fast food in Middle East. Usually, falafel balls are served as part of a sandwich. Such sandwiches are stuffed in pita bread along with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions and hummus (or chickpeas in Arabic). It is totally vegetarian food.

However, when I tried it first time, I thought it was ground chicken liver. It had a very rich flavor and texture. Also the seasonings that I had never teased enriched chickpea paste. After knowing it was made of chickpeas, I was amazed.

Making a GOOD hummus dip was not easy. Later, I become addicted to hummus.
I bought many kinds of hummus dips already packed and sold in stores. However, none of them was right. When I spoke about my hummus experience, my classmate, Jonathan, said, “It is very easy to make it. You just boil chickpeas and put them in a mixer with some tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. That’s it!”

Therefore, I decided to make hummus. It had been quite challenging to make it just right. Each time I made it, I felt something was missing comparing with the hummus I had in the authentic falafel restaurant. It has been already a few years since I first made it. Now it feels pretty close to the authentic flavor! Hummus can be a good dipping sauce with vegetable sticks!
Hummus recipe
1 and ½ cups dried chickpeas
3-5 tbsps tahini
3-5 tbsps lemon juice
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/8 ~1/4 teaspoon of cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ ~ ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Soak the dried chickpeas overnight.
2. Wash the chickpeas. Place them in a pot and fill with water.
3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat and continue to simmer for 40-50 minutes until the chickpeas become soft. Strain the water and keep it aside. Put a few chickpeas aside for decoration.
4. Place the boiled chickpeas in a food processor along with all of the other ingredients and ¼ cup of the water from 3.
5. Process until smooth. Add more seasonings or water, if necessary.
6. Spoon into a serving plate. Add some paprika and decorate with a few boiled whole chickpeas and olives. Serve with pita bread!

1 comment:

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