Chickpea Hummus

After months of procrastination, I finally had to give in to the ceaseless poking from the ‘Bro Gang’ about having a dinner party.

When in doubt, pick ‘Lebanese’. The spices, the flavours, the kebabs, the tangy salads, the fragrant rice… You cannot go wrong with a Lebanese theme.

So the theme was set, the invites were sent and too much excitement was shared.

The star of the menu was, undoubtedly – the hummus.

I haven’t come across anyone who does not like hummus. It can be served as a starter, a dip, or a meal in itself with some salad and pita bread. It can be made with innovative combinations and flavours, like roasted pumpkin hummus with cumin or roasted aubergine hummus with toasted sesame seeds (switch on the experiment bulb). Takes one mixer container, 4 ingredients and less than 5 minutes to prepare. It is a perfect snack for those creamy cravings and most of all; it is super-duper healthy and nutritious! What’s not to love, then?

Chickpea Hummus

INGREDIENTS

  • Soaked and boiled chickpeas – 4 cups
  • Garlic cloves – 4
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Olive Oil – 3/4th cup
  • Tahini paste – 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Warm water – as per desired consistency

METHOD

Blend all the ingredients together to make a paste and keep adding warm water till it reaches desired consistency. I like to keep it thick and hearty so that it can even be used as a spread. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika and serve with pita bread at room temperature.

And that is literally it!

The dinner party was a lot of fun! We spent the evening gorging on food, cracking horribly inappropriate jokes, laughing till our stomachs hurt, mocking T’s ridiculous poses, cutting the pending chocolate cake (finally).

Got the happy and smiling peeps captured in a picture-perfect moment.

Like they say, Bros before…. Umm… Crows!  🙂

The Bro Gang

The Bro Gang

 

Bread Rolls

The 3 magic words that every person loves to hear:

Freshly baked bread.

After years of walking past bakeries just to take in that wafting aroma of fresh-baked bread, I took it upon myself to try making it at home. My tussle with bread making continued from a few years back to last month when I finally got it right (joy to the world!).  I haven’t stopped baking bread ever since. Nobody in their right mind would.

The 3 secret ingredients to making good bread are patience, patience and more patience. Treat your dough like a baby; nurture it, watch it grow in size and then… eat it up.

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For the dough:

  • Water: 1 cup
  • Dry yeast: 2 ½ tsps.
  • Sugar: 1tbsp.
  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Oil: 3 tbsps.
  • Salt: 1 tsp.

 

Step-by-step method:

  1. Warm a cup of water.
  2. Sprinkle the dry yeast over it.
  3. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  4. Allow this to rest for about 5 minutes. The yeast will release air-bubbles and the mixture will turn frothy. (It’s fun to watch).
  5. In a bowl, sift the flour and salt together. This is to make sure the salt does not come in direct contact with the yeast.
  6. Add the oil to the liquid mixture (water+yeast+sugar).Make a well in the flour and slowly pour the liquid mixture.
  7. Form the dough, adjusting oil, flour and water as needed. Knead it for 10 minutes until it is thoroughly elastic and springy to the touch. (Stress-balls are passé, kneading dough is deliciously rewarding!)
  8. Add the dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover with a wet towel and put it away to proof for an hour or two till it doubles in side.
  9. Once the bread doubles in size and looks well-aerated, punch it down till it falls flat and knead away for another 5 minutes. Allow it to rest for another 10 minutes. (Patience, remember?)
  10. Now shape the dough into whatever shape you like: rolls, baguette, loaf, plait, your wish. Cover it with a wet towel after shaping and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 220 C (or 430 F), brush the dough with butter and sprinkle desired toppings. (I used toasted sesame seeds, dried rosemary and basil)
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes for the rolls as they are smaller. Lower the temperature to 200 C (400 F) and bake for 15 more minutes for bigger shapes.
  13. Serve hot after generously slathering it with butter (Danish Lurpak is my favourite) or olive oil, or with jam or cheese.
  14. Let there be bread… Always!