Hummus

After a Easter weekend of feasting, my tummy needed a break. I chanced upon a recipe for hummus. It’s so easy and while it takes a long time, the actual preparation time is minimum.

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I bought chickpeas from the local Indian provision shops near the hawker centres. 200g of raw chickpeas cost 80 cents. NTUC Fairprice sells only the raw organic ones but not the canned ones. Pros of using raw chick peas – readily available for me, cheaper and no salt. Cons – need to soak for 3hrs min and cook. Canned ones are preserved in salt and preservatives.

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During my childhood, boiled chickpeas or kacang puteh were sold in coned paper cups by Indian peddlers. Before kit-kat and oreos, it was our only snacks.

Ingredients
200g raw chickpeas
2 lime from garden
4 tbsp olive oil
Water to cover chickpeas
Pinch salt (add to taste)
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic (optional)
For variety: add 1tsp paprika, cumin or coriander.

1. Soak dried chickpeas and change water every 15 mins. After the 3rd soak, soak for 3hrs. I left my tub in the fridge overnight as it was a warm night. (Water recycled for watering plants.) Some recipes such as Alton Brown recommend soaking with pinch of baking soda to soften it further.

Next morning the chickpeas would have expanded to twice the size.

2. Put in slow cooker and cook on high till soft but retains shape. (About 1hr). Leave to cool in liquid.

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3. Ready to eat when cooled. I didn’t add salt. Add salt if you want a heavier taste. I’m told that if you add salt to the water, chickpeas take longer to soften. Yummy. My lunch today. It was creamy and delicious. I was only prevented from eating more for fear of bombarding my colleagues with gas bombs.

Benefits of chickpeas – provides fibre and protein, zinc, potassium and magnesium and even as an aphrodisiac? Huh? http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Hummus

Cons – a lot of gas. And according to my mom, pregnant women should avoid taking chickpeas in case of jaundice. (I’ve not seen this on any websites, but so you know.)

4. Toast sesame seeds in microwave for 10 sec. Mill it till fine and then add 3 tsp of olive oil in pulveriser. (I’ve a lot of sesame seeds about to expire. You can buy tahini paste or replace sesame seeds with peanut butter or Greek yogurt).

5. Add 50g chickpeas. I used a small pulveriser which could only fill 50g but if you have a big food processor, feel free to pulse it in one go. Add olive oil 1 tbsp at a time until you get the consistency you like. Use cooking liquid to thin the mixture. Add salt, garlic and spices to taste.

6. If you want a thinner mixture to serve as a dressing, add more liquid – olive oil.

Uses for chickpeas
1. Boiled – eat it as it is or add to salad, stew or curry
2. Mashed form – as a dip for veg such as carrots or romaine lettuce
3. Liquid form – as dressing for salad replacing mayonnaise or as a spread replacing butter for sandwich or wrap.
4. Roasted till crunchy and coat with honey and cinnamon as a sweet.
5. Use as a facemask. According to “Skin Cleanse” by Adina Grigore. Mix 1 tbsp mashed chickpeas with 1 tbsp water and pinch of tumeric. Let it dry before washing off.

Chickpeas according to Grigore, are an amazing detoxifier. They pull out harmful toxins, neutralise free radicals, heal sun damage and energise your skin. Contains Vit B6 and B12. The mask can be drying so use a moisturiser after washing off, reminds Grigore.

NB: I’m glad it curbed my craving for rice and noodles.

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