Monday, 15 June 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus !



Hummus or Houmous is a Middle eastern ( Levantine) dip or spread that is made from cooked and mashed chickpeas along with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin Olive oil. This is indeed one of the classic examples of some foods that are tasting best yet simple to make.
It is served with flatbread like pita, or as a part of the mezze platter or as an accompaniment with FALAFEL.  Nowadays this traditional hummus is being reinvented with new flavors and red hummus is one of them. Along with other ingredients, (roasted ) red peppers are added and blended well that gives a sweetish taste to the normal hummus with an appealing color.


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups boiled chickpeas (or one tin /can store bought)
  • 1 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (or less )
  • One Lemon
  • 2  tbsp tahini ( or 1 tbsp white sesame seeds)
  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • a pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • salt as needed
STEPS
  • Soak chickpeas overnight and cook them in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles until they are cooked soft.
  • Halve the peppers and remove the seeds and veins.
  • Keep all other ingredients ready.


  • Brush some oil on the peppers and roast them in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 30 minutes until they are charred and wrinkled.
  • Then just wrap them in a cling film and allow to cool . Wrapping them in a film helps to remove the skin easily. Peel off the skin of the peppers.

  • In a jar add chopped garlic and tahini (or sesame seeds and a tbsp Olive oil) and blend till its smooth.
  • Then add the boiled chickpeas, cumin powder, chilli flakes and salt and grind them well.


  •  Once the chickpeas are well ground, add the olive oil little at a time and continue grinding them.
  • Lastly add the roasted peppers to it and continue blending.

  • Squeeze in all the lemon juice and give a run till it silky smooth.
  • Food processor works best for this. I had to grind them in my small mixie jar in two batches and then blend them all together once. 
  • Do not add any water during the whole process. Only lemon juice and olive oil are the liquid here that helps to grind to a smooth paste.
  • Lastly If you feel the hummus too thick to spread then add 1 - 2 tbsp of water and give a run.


  • Scoop the hummus to a bowl, flatten with back of a spoon. Then make some ridges and drizzle some olive oil on top. 
  • Finely chop some red pepper and cook in a tbsp of olive oil for 3 - 4 minutes. Then pour this over the hummus and serve.
  • Sprinkle some paprika / chilli flakes too (optional)


Notes
  • Tahini can be made at home easily by just blending some roasted white sesame seeds with enough olive oil. This can be stored in refrigerator for weeks and just use few tbsp when making hummus.
  • If you dont have tahini stocked up, then just use sesame seeds like I used above.
  • Tahini has a strong flavor so, you can skip that altogether when making hummus.
  • In case you have an aversion towards the raw garlic smell, then do reduce the quantity mentioned above. I like garlic flavor so I have added 3 big cloves.
  • Always adjust lemon juice, garlic, salt etc according to taste. Add little initially and then feel free to add later on.
  • Try not to use the tinned chickpeas as we are not sure whats in it. Better to soak the dried chickpeas overnight and pressure cook them. Simple and healthy without preservatives.
  • Use only EVOO, not other oils. 
  • Instead of roasting the peppers, you can also chop them and saute them in olive oil until they are soft. Or use roasted peppers from jars that comes handy but I wouldn't recommend that as nothing is better than homemade. :)


Serve with pita bread, or just a spread for your sandwich or as a dip for the falafel or any starter.
Store in a glass jar in fridge and it will stay upto a week or more.


With Love,

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