Now that sweltering weather has descended upon Southwestern Ontario, easier and lighter meals are in order. Hummus is one of my favorite summer time dips, served along with freshly chopped vegetables and in this case, some easy homemade [highlight]Sweet Potato Flatbreads[/highlight]. Once the chickpeas are cooked, it is just a matter of tossing everything into a food processor. This plate is really a meal in itself and one to be enjoyed on the patio or in an air conditioned kitchen if you prefer.
If you don’t want to make the flatbreads, pick up some pita breads, cut them into triangles and lightly toast them. This recipe calls for a [highlight]red chili and vinegar paste[/highlight] or “balchao masala”. It’s an easy Indian spice paste to make at home, and it will keep refrigerated for several months in a tightly sealed jar. It does come with a bit of a warning though — it’s very hot, so start with just a teaspoon and taste the hummus before adding more. Feel free to experiment with your favorite pastes and spices. Hummus is really rather forgiving.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons [highlight]red chili and vinegar paste[/highlight], to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 green chili, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
- pinch of asafetida (optional)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or as needed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse well, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are soft. Drain and set aside to cool.
Transfer the chickpeas, 1 teaspoon of the red chili and vinegar paste, and remaining ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Season with additional red chili and vinegar paste and salt as desired, and add more olive oil as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
Makes approximately 3 cups