When I have guests, I have some easy appetizers and dips that I make. Hummus is one of them. I think the first time I ate hummus was at Oasis Falafel in Iowa city. It is a very small restaurant with maybe four tables but with the best falafel and hummus. Because I am lactose intolerant, I make this often, since it is dairy-free and of course healthy. I jazz it up with whatever catches my fancy that day and what I have in the pantry. Add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted pumpkin and you get a different hummus.
1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1 can garbanzo beans
4-5 garlic cloves
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 pinch baking soda
1 tsp cumin powder
4-5 ice cubes
Garnishes: cumin powder, chilli powder, roasted chickpeas, chopped parsley, roasted pine nuts or sesame seeds
Soak dried chickpeas in water, overnight or for 6-8 hours.
Cook chickpeas with 2 cloves of garlic and some salt till soft. I use a pressure cooker and let it whistle for 3-4 times. It should be soft. Let it cool.
Strain (save the cooking liquid) and rinse the chick peas.
In a small saucepan, heat a tsp of oil and cook 2 cloves of garlic till soft. (Usually, raw garlic is added, but I prefer to cook it)
In a blender/ food processor, add the garlic, tahini and ice cubes and blend. The ice cubes make the tahini smooth by breaking down the fat. Blend for a few minutes.
Add chickpeas in small batches and blend. Add some chickpeas cooking liquid and blend. Add cumin powder and salt and blend till creamy. (Be careful with the salt, since salt was added while cooking the chickpeas and the liquid will also have salt). Add olive oil and blend.
Garnish it with any of the garnishes mentioned.
Serve with pita bread.
To the basic hummus recipes, add 3-4 tablespoons of oliveand blend for 20 seconds. Serve.
To the basic hummus recipe add a couple of tablespoonsof roasted pumpkin and blend till smooth. This hummus is slightly sweet. Garnish with small pieces of pumpkin or roasted pumpkin seeds
Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
To the basic hummus recipe add a couple of tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes and blend.