The Humble Hummus

I LOVE Hummus! Ok, it’s bland but it’s healthy too. And that’s the priority right now.

humble hummus

This post is not about my love for Hummus but my determination to make it a family favourite, especially Nabeel. Well, in the end I did succeed in making him eat it (in disguise) but it’s yet to become a favourite. Read on…

Knowing Nabeel’s taste buds I knew the Humble Hummus would be rejected outright. So I decided to him involve in the process of preparing it. First, I introduced him to Boiled Chick Peas, made him eat some and they were approved for the light snack box next day. Yea…victory No. 1 🙂
After the adventurous session of making Hummus I asked him to taste it saying it was imperative for everyone to taste the food they make. One lick and it was spat out instantly. The verdict – “yuck”.

Roasting sesame seeds for Tahini

Roasting sesame seeds for Tahini

I wasn’t giving up and the next day I again turned to the Lebanese Cookbook (from where I picked the Hummus recipe) to whip up a complete meal for the family. This time particularly looking to make some chicken preparation that would go with the Hummus as Nabeel never rejects anything to do with chicken. I found this awesome Cardamom Chicken recipe which is actually called Chicken Shawarma in the cookbook.

lebanese vegetables

Salad tossed up for the wrap

At first, I made a Lebanese wrap for him, Cardamom Chicken rolled up in hummus smeared rotis. Nabeel was too smart to figure out what it contained and demanded his usual wrap with a cheese slice. It was dinner time already and all that I had was the chicken and hummus. No way was it going to be a cheesy dinner for him, either.
I quickly pulled out a pan, tempered some jeera added 2 – 3 big spoons of hummus, some ketchup for the reddish appearance, plunked in bite sized pieces of the chicken, adjusted the flavours and served it along with rotis. Slyly calling it “butter chicken”. And guess what it was wiped off the plate in no time. Yea…victory No. 2

I do feel guilty of resorting to such tactics but as long as something healthy and nutritious is being consumed I am OK. After all, this is what a mother of a toddler wants.

I strongly feel Hummus is something every child should be introduced to. It not only has the goodness of chick peas but also sesame seeds (til) besides other good ingredients like garlic, olive oil and curd. It is also quite versatile as it can easily be used as an ingredient to create numerous dishes. Use it as a dip, salad dressing, base for gravy or just as a spread. Due to it being bland or as I like to call it Humble you can create myriad flavours with it. Hummus stores well in the fridge for upto 3 weeks, it can also be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator. However, make sure the frozen Hummus once thawed is consumed in a day or two. 

Husband and I relished the Hummus in a salad for dinner. The recipe for which is shared along with Hummus. Recipes inspired from the book below but they have been tweaked as per my liking.

Enjoy!

Lebanese cookbook by Hussien Dekmak

Hummus Recipe
Hummus is basically puree of boiled chick peas. One of the essential ingredients of hummus is Tahini – sesame seed paste. You can either buy Tahini from store or make it at home. Lemon juice is the authentic ingredient but commonly replaced by curd. I have used curd for it renders a good consistency and is a better option in this heat. However, the curd hummus has a lower shelf-life.

Ingredients

For Tahini
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (til)
4 tablespoons oil

For Hummus
2 cups boiled Chick Peas / Garbanzo beans / Kabuli Chana
2 tablespoons peeled garlic
2 tablespoons curd / yogurt
Salt as per taste

Method
Step 1 – For Tahini, lightly roast the sesame seeds on a griddle (tawa) or in the oven. Cool and blend with oil to make a smooth paste.
Step 2 – For Hummus, blend chick peas, garlic, curd and prepared Tahini with little oil or water to get a thick smooth paste.
Step 3 – Adjust taste with salt and use as required.

Cardamom Chicken & Hummus Salad

Cardamom Chicken & Hummus Salad

Cardamom Chicken & Hummus Salad

Ingredients
1 recipe of Hummus (as above)
Olive oil
Paprika powder

For Salad
Cucumber
Cabbage
Green Chillies
Beetroot
Onion
Vinegar
Salt

For Chicken
1 chicken breast, boneless
2 – 3 green cardamom pods
3 – 4 whole black pepper corns
1 lemon
Salt
Oil

Step 1 – Clean the chicken breast and marinade it with lemon juice and salt. Crush the cardamom and black pepper, add it to the chicken. Leave the chicken in the fridge for 2 hours.

Cardamom Chicken Marinade

Cardamom Chicken Marinade

Step 2 – Slice the vegetables, except chillies, for the salad. The chillies should be just slit from the centre so that its hotness is extracted in the dressing. Mix and toss with vinegar and salt. Keep aside for 1 hour at least.

Step 3 – To cook the chicken, tip the entire chicken with marinate in a non-stick pan. Drop about 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil around the chicken, cover the pan with a lid and let the cooking take place over low heat. Remember, it’s the whole chicken breast which needs more time to cook right through the centre. Once done, cut the breast lengthwise to make pieces. Keep the pieces warm.

Step 4 – To assemble the entire dish, in a wide bottom plate spread the Hummus making a depression in the centre. Place the prepared salad and the chicken pieces in the centre. Drizzle generous amounts of the salad liquid as well as the chicken cooking liquid over the dish. Sprinkle some paprika powder and drizzle olive oil over the dish.
Serve immediately.

Tips:
1) Paprika powder is a very mild red chilli powder. In case, you don’t have it use the regular red chilli powder but in very small amounts.
2) For best flavour retain the whole chicken breast and cook as it is. The juices will remain within and the chicken will be more moist and flavour.
3) The vegetables I used for the salad were just cabbage, cucumber and chillies. Use whatever you like.
4) The above can easily be made into a wrap. Smear thin rotis or bread with Hummus, spread the salad and chicken, roll and eat.

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

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