This dish is a particular favourite of mine as the ingredients are basic, quick to make and very tasty. You can use either red or yellow lentils and compliment it by adding fresh tomatoes or spinach, toasted fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coriander leaves.
1 cup red or yellow lentils
2 cups of water
1 small onion sliced
½ inch piece of ginger, cut in strips
2 – 3 green chillies slit lenghtwise
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of ghee
1 tablespoon of coconut powder
Salt to taste
Rinse the lentils well in cold water and tip into a saucepan. To this add the sliced onion, chillies, ginger, turmeric and 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and give it a stir now and then so it does not boil over. When nearly cooked add the coconut powder and salt and simmer until the lentils have disintegrated into a soft mash. Now add the ghee and coriander leaves and eat hot with rice, pita bread or chapattis. Some like it served like a soup in which case you add a little more water.
Last week I was making a concotion with chickpeas, spinach and chorizo and decided to ‘save’ some freshly cooked chickpeas to make hummus. I love it with coriander but did not have any, so I made it with black olives. Here is the very precise recipe (I’ve measured everything) and this time I did not forget to take pictures !!!
2 cups/420 g cooked chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
7 tbsp olive oil
7 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup/135 g olives (106 g pitted olives)
1 1/2 lime juice
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds or tahini
The main ingredient of this recipe are the chickpeas (also called ‘garbanzo beans’ … ‘garbanzo’ been actually the name of the chickpeas in Spanish). I always use my pressure cooker for cooking beans, lentils and chickpeas soaking them the night before. Make sure you don’t add salt to your pulses until they are almost cooked as that makes the cooking process longer, in this case I did not add salt at all as that ingredient is added during the preparation of the hummus. If you prefer buy a can of ready cooked chickpeas (410 g chickpeas in a can, I think). Mix all the ingredients with a hand mixer and vary the consistency by adding more or less oil and water. Taste it while you make it so you add more or less of the spices, garlic and lime juice to suit your taste! You can make the basic hummus without the black olives, or vary the classic recipe by adding coriander leaves or roasted pepper. I have also tried hummus with pumpkin and with beetroot, both are sweeter than the classic version. Most of the recipes I have read use tahini, I usually have sesame seeds at home so I tend to use that ingredient instead (toasting the seeds a bit in a hot pan), after all tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds. Enjoy it and if you try other alternative ingredients to make a special hummus share your recipe with us !