Hummus – quick and tasty


Hummus has been around for a long, long time. It was the ultimate “fast” food that was easy to carry. When Bedouin tribes traveled with their herds from place to place, carrying dried grains that were ground up was a lightweight and economical option. It also was a great source of protein. I am so glad that it has become one of the “in” foods. High in protein, good quality monounsaturated fats and delightful flavor…what’s not to like? Here’s a fast, easy and very budget friendly version.
What makes it especially economical is the use of whole sesame seeds instead of Tahini in a jar. Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds that adds tremendous flavor to this dish and It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron, not to mention essential amino acid Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It is also high in Vitamin E and a host of B vitamins and calcium. It’s the ultimate brain food.

Ingredients:  good quality olive oil, garbanzo beans, fresh garlic cloves and lemon
Ingredients: good quality olive oil, garbanzo beans, fresh garlic cloves and lemon
Use sesame seeds instead of tahini paste
Use sesame seeds instead of tahini paste
Drizzle a little olive oil before serving
Drizzle a little olive oil before serving

So let’s get to the recipe.

2 cans (15 oz) of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
juice of half a large lemon
2 cloves of fresh garlic, roughly chopped
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup good quality olive oil

In a food processor, dump in the garbanzo beans and pulse a few times. Add the sesame seeds (you pulse the garbanzo beans first so the sesame seeds don’t fall to the bottom of the processor) and garlic and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add in lemon juice and turn on the food processor. As the processor is doing its work, begin to drizzle in the olive oil through the lid opening until the mixture begins to get nice and smooth. Add salt to taste and pulse a few times. Pour into a bowl and drizzle a bit more good quality olive oil. Serve with Pita bread, vegetable strips or Pita chips and enjoy. Makes 2 1/2 cups. Serving size 1/2 cup. Cost per serving 48 cents.

Potato and Chickpea Curry

This little vegetarian dish is tasty and filling.  I love it as a main dish to eat with pooris, naans or just plain white rice and a nice crisp salad.  I had a few leftover baked potatoes and it worked great in this dish since you have to pre-cook the potatoes.  The potatoes are the base but you can feel free to add anything else to it.  I added a can of chickpeas and one lonely zucchini I had sitting in my fridge.  You can add green peas, cauliflower, bell peppers, green beans, whatever you happen to have handy in your crisper drawer….

The ingredients at a glance
Mix coriander, ginger, turmeric, paprika and chili with the yogurt
Yogurt and spice mixture
Saute onions, salt and cumin seeds together, after cumin seeds pop then add garlic and stir fry
Add besan (chickpea flour) to the onion mixture before adding the yogurt mixture (keeps yogurt mixture from separating)
Add potatoes, chickpeas and zucchini and mix well
Add water and cilantro, cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes
Serve with flat breads or rice

Here’s the recipe:

Potato and Chickpea Curry

4 potatoes, cooked and cubed into bite sized pieces

14 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 small zucchini (or some other veggie)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 green chili, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch piece of ginger, minced

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp corinander powder

1/2 cup yogurt

1 tsp salt (or adjusted to taste)

4 tbsp oil

2 tsp chickpea flour or besan (or all-purpose flour)

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 1/2 cups of water

In a small bowl mix yogurt with turmeric, paprika, coriander, ginger and chili. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan.  Add onion, cumin seeds and salt.  When cumin seeds are crackling add the garlic and stir fry a few seconds.  Add the chick pea flour and stir for a few minutes.  (This will help the yogurt from separating out.  If you don’t have chickpea flour you can use regular flour) Add the yogurt and spice mixture.  Keep stirring until the mixture thickens a little (about 2 minutes).  Add the potatoes, garbanzo beans and zucchini and mix well.  Add one cup of water and the cilantro.  Cover and simmer for about 6-8 minutes. Uncover and check for seasoning, if additional salt or water is needed then add it now and let it simmer another minute or so.  Serve with any flat bread or white rice.