For this session of Cooking School I am keeping to the current Arabian Theme that has dawned on a few blogs ;-).
What I realized while doing the roundup is that many of you tried your hands for the first time at this kind of cuisine.
So I thought, although we had a few recipes for Hummus for the Monthly Mingle round-up, I could share a recipe for those who could not take part and are not familiar with this cuisine just how easy it is to make a simple and healthy Arabic style dip.
When I make hummus I am forever experimenting with herbs and spices. This time I chose a refreshing herb to complement the rich texture of the chickpeas.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are not very easy to photograph!
Actually they are rather boring to photograph. There is no zazzy color nor do they have an interesting outer texture to them!
However they have a fantastic nutlike taste and are very versatile legumes. They are often found in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes and can come in the form of falafels, in curries or as dips. While I picked chickpeas that are beige in color, there are varieties that feature black, green, red and brown beans.
Above all chickpeas are fiber All Stars! they are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and can lower cholesterol.
You'll find more health benefits for chickpeas here.
Selecting and Storing
Chickpeas are available dried in packets or canned. When selecting dried chickpeas make sure that there are no signs of insect damage or moisture and that they are not cracked. If you store dried chickpeas in an air tight container in a cool, dark and dry place they will last for up to 12 months.
Unlike many canned vegetables, chickpeas do not loose much of their nutritional value and their is not much difference in the nutritional value of canned garbanzo beans and those you cook yourself.
The mint in this hummus lends it wonderful aroma to the entire dip, making it refreshing and cooling for the warm weather. Mint is a herb known for its healing qualities and used often in Indian and Middle Eastern foods and medicine. Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive system and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. You can use mint in a variety of ways, however the most common is brewing mint leaves in a soothing mint tea.
Selecting and Storing
Buying fresh mint is better than the dried variety. If possible always go for the fresh leaves as it is in these leaves that you will find the true aroma and flavor. The leaves you buy should be vibrant and be a rich green color and they should be free from dark spots or yellowing.
The best way to store mint leaves is to wrap them in a damp paper towel and place this in a plastic bag. Close loosely. In the refrigerator this should keep fresh for several days.
Come celebrate Spring with me. This month Spring Is In The Air.
Deadline: May 09, 2007!
480g canned chicpeas - drained liquid reserved
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves - crushed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 bunches of parsley - finely chopped
3 bunches of mint - finely chopped
In a pan roast the cumin seeds until they are fragrant. Take out and allow to cool.
In a large bowl or blender puree the chickpeas, cumin seeds tahin paste and lemon juice into a fine paste. If the paste is too thick use some of the reserved liquid from the chickpeas. The consistency should not be liquidy but thick and creamy.
Place in a bowl and fold in the herbs.
Serve drizzled with olive oil and toasted pita bread sprinkled with thyme.
An enjoyable dip for all occasions - parties, cocktails, picnics or just an evening in front of the TV. Hummus is one of the very common things we make at home. As a matter of fact we make this so often that Soeren can actually make it too. Every time we try a little something different. This minty hummus gives a real refreshing zing to your taste buds.
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