hum-musing in greece

i like hummus. this is not a mere passing infatuation that you brush away like fresh dust on the surface of that table by your bedside; this is long lasting, sincere, loyal, and here to be eaten.

hummus has become a staple spread at my house, almost once a fortnight. its healthy, filling and tasty, and with lots of proteins and fibre, what more do i want as a vegetarian? i put lesser oil than the recipes suggest, add a LOT of garlic, and a LOT of lime. so now its become mine… its my hummus. in africa they say if you name something / someone then you become responsible for it… i’m calling mine ‘gar-licky hummus’ and i will take care of it.

a couple of years ago, we were in greece. and our first time on the mediterranean coast and we had to have hummus… had to have the original… (if you are wondering if hummus is from greece or the middle east or where… the debate goes on; check here)

ordered a plate at a nice restaurant. and it looked nice, but i didn’t like it. in fact, even felt ‘it wasn’t just right’… something was off.

and that to me is amazing. sitting here in mumbai, miles and miles away from the flavours and palates that govern the world of hummus, i had a take on it… and i am no chef to have a take on world cuisine. but all these tell me this world of ours is becoming very small and extremely accessible. i reach out my hand and  swim in the flavours of the mediterranean and then suddenly dive deep into a som tam (my favourite salad – a raw papaya thai salad)

let me leave you now with my hum-musings!

image credit:
image credit:

gar-licky hummus

what you need:
250 gms of channa (chickpea) – soaked overnight (once soaked 250gms. not dry. remember it doubles once soaked!)
the juice of 1 – 2 limes – depends on the quality of the limes (or if you have sumac, then use that. don’t get it in india so lemon adds that zing!)
2 tablespoons of tahini (recipe at the end)
3/4th tbsp of chilli flakes
8 – 10 garlic cloves – increase / decrease the quantity as per your taste
2-3 tbsps of olive oil – you can add more if you like the taste, but i always add that little bit before serving, so save up some oil for that…
salt to taste

step 1:
ensure the channa / chickpeas are covered with water, add a little salt and then cook them in the pressure cooker
keep it for a long time as it needs to get very well cooked in your pressure cooker. if you normally keep rice for 3 whistles… then keep the channa for five whistles

step 2:
cut the garlic into small pieces and put in the mixer / food processor
add all the cooked channa (chickpea) with around a cup of the cooking water
give it a couple of stirs to start getting it fine

then, mix it all. now, add the tahini, lime juice, and little salt to taste. give it a couple of rounds in the mixer / food processor.
you can decide how fine / coarse you like your hummus, and keep it in the mixer / food processor for that long.  i like it smooth and almost creamy.

if you are patient then remove the cover of each chickpea… it becomes very creamy, and melts in your mouth. but, i am too lazy to do anything like that.
a cheat-trick: you can cook the life out of the chickpeas in the pressure cooker and the skin comes off automatically, i did try this once.

step 3:
depending on consistency you can add some more water and give it a mix.
remove from the mixer, put into dish you plan to store it in, pour a little olive oil and blend it in.

this stays in the fridge for several days, maybe more than a week. though we polish it off way sooner, so i have never really seen how long it stays good.

serving & eating:
spoon it into a plate, sprinkle some olives, put a dash of olive oil to make the hummus glisten and to make you drool. place the lavash or some warm pita bread on the side and then attack!

or else, use it like a spread in rotis topped with freshly chopped veggies; makes a very filling dinner…

p.s. recipe for tahini:
dry roast sesame seeds in a pan – around 2 tablespoons full.
then grind it in the mixer.
if you add some olive oil becomes tahini, but i don’t given that i would anyway put it into the hummus.
you can use this as a starting point for many other things, including a spread on a sandwich, and a dressing for salad…

next on merrytoEAT:
parangikkai soup straight from chettinad!!

parangikai soup

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