Hummus, as many of us know, is a levatine dip/ spread made using cooked chickpeas/fava beans blended with tahini (sesame paste), Olive oil, salt, lemon and garlic. Today it is popular in many places and i am glad it has a good presence in US/Canada as well. DSB takes the traditional Hummus and gives it a earthen bell pepper spin for an interesting dip concept.
Hummus is a very interesting and easy to prepare dip. It is an aromatic and delicious dip in disguise. Why i said that .. is simple. The first time u taste it, it is almost impossible to guess that a dip as smooth and silky can be as nutritious and healthy too. Most of the dips and dressings i come across have loads of Mayonnaise in it which obviously adds to the smooth and delicate taste but mounts them up with calories and fats beyond imagination. In those instances, Hummus definitely is a happy welcome change.
My first encounter with Hummus happened in India when i was working. One of my colleague was a cooking enthusiast (like me) and she once got us Pita/falafel/hummus – the works for lunch. I had never tasted either of these eastern Mediterranean components and i was obviously very excited for it. She very graciously explained how a pita wrap is made. She used roman lettuce, some raw bell peppers, tzatziki sauce (recipe to come soon), hummus and offcourse, falafel. I loved the combination and not only was it filling and satisfying, but the flavours worked together harmoniously creating an absolute delightful experience for me.
Since Mediterranean food availability is scarce in India, i never really got a second chance to give this treat another try but as i shifted base to Montreal, an International Pandora of cuisines opened up for me to explore. Since last 1 year, i have relished many a pita falafel sandwiches and have always loved the smooth hummus dip served along with it. One such day, i thought of re-creating the dish at home and got all the fixants from the nearby store. The most amazing thing was yet to happen ! While i opened the tub of hummus dip, i thought of reading up the nutrition value (should confess here – lately i have started reading labels like these for all my packaged foods and its no fun. It makes my shopping so much harder to do as now i keep searching for healthier options for almost everything !). I was so relieved to read that this was a “healthy” dip with very few calories and carbs to boast off. The second instinct was to read the ingredients and did i jump in excitement ! The main ingredient read CHICKPEAS … i was like “seriously ?? Chickpeas can be so tasty and make such a unique dip?” I was ecstatic !
Ever since then, i have not once bought the expensive tub of hummus which can be whipped up in seconds and at fraction of a cost. The first few trials were sticking to simple and basic hummus which came out really as expected. Trust me, the taste was a complete 100% like the store bought and i felt much less guiltier eating that as i knew what was going in it 🙂
Now, my 4 pm hunger pangs have a straight forward solution – Pretzels with home made varieties of Hummus. The combination might sound odd to a few but this variety (roasted pepper hummus) works great with pretzels. The slight roasted sweetness of the peppers work perfectly with the slightly salted pretzels, striking a unique but interesting balance. Try it !
Hummus with roasted orange peppers
Hummus with roasted orange peppers
- 200 gms boiled chickpeas. Can also use canned chickpeas
- 1 cup orange bell peppers – roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cooking oil / olive oil – for tempering bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic (optional) – roughly chopped
- 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds or 1 tablespoon tahini paste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp red paprika / red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- The first step here would be to prepare the orange bell peppers. For this, take a frying pan and add 2 tsp Olive oil to it and let it heat. Once the oil is hot, drop in the bell peppers and stir fry on medium high heat till the bell peppers are roasted nicely. Once done, remove and keep aside to cool down.You can also fire roast it on the direct flame (in Indian houses for instance) or on a BBQ. Personally, i like the nutty-earthen flavour of the fire roasted peppers much better.
- Now, take a mixie/food processor to blend in all the ingredients together. Add in washed and boiled chickpeas and all the other ingredients except Olive oil and start blending. The vinegar and lemon juice will work as liquid base for the churning to begin.
- As the hummus starts to grind and form a paste, slowly add Olive oil in the mixie jar so that the hummus incorporates the oil homogeneously. This way you can also control the consistency of the hummus and not overload it with Olive oil.
- Once the hummus is smooth and homogenous, turn off the mixie/food processor and Hummus with roasted bell peppers is ready !!
Can any recipe be simpler and more promising ? I simply loved how the roasted bell peppers gave a earthen slight heat and that gorgeous colour to the hummus. Simple and very common ingredients thrown together and given a swirl to create a magic dip. The day i made this, my lunch and dinner was dip with various types of breads. I even made a lebanese inspired pizza that night with this hummus base instead of the good old tomato sauce and added spinach and feta cheese with zaatar for a true lebanese experience.. Oh it was so so good !