Healthy Snack: Hummus and Chapati

hummus and chapatiMy husband grew up in Dubai and often has a hankering for Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. I love food that’s rich in flavor, so I’m usually ready to fall in with these cravings when he has them. Something from his childhood that we can easily make at home is hummus, and except for the tahini, most of the ingredients are easily accessible here. Many suggest using sesame oil as a substitute for tahini, but, fortunately, Mark found a jar of the real stuff at the nearby Indian deli while buying some samosas and tamarind sauce for me (that time, I was the one with a craving).

Last Sunday, our age group in church was tasked to lead the fellowship activity and they’d decided to do cooking tutorials. I was assigned to demonstrate one recipe, so I decided to do hummus. Of course, hummus is really a dip, so I needed to add something with which to dip. I was all for just cutting up some carrots and cucumbers, but Mark nixed the idea, saying we needed something really bland to make the flavor of the hummus stand out. The guy knows his hummus, so I bowed to his expertise. The obvious choice was pita bread, but since it’s not the easiest bread to make (working with yeast intimidates me, if you must know), I thought chapati would do just as well.

Here are the recipes I used:

Hummus

A 450-gram can of chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
juice from 1 lemon
4 T tahini
a garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling before serving
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cumin
2 to 3 T water
Dash of paprika before serving

In a blender or food processor, mix first the lemon juice and tahini, then follow with the minced garlic, salt, cumin, and olive oil. Pulse and then add the chickpeas. Blend the mixture, adding water to reach the desired creamy consistency. Scoop out into the serving bowl, drizzle some more olive oil on top and then sprinkle with paprika. Recipe serves 4.

Chapati

2 C flour
milk
salt
2 T oil (I used olive oil, but it can be vegetable or canola)

Put flour in a wide container, make a well in the center and add milk as well as a dash of salt. Start mixing, adding milk until the dough is just the right consistency for kneading. Add the oil, and then knead. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Divide the dough into golf ball-sized pieces. Sprinkle with flour and press down into discs. Roll flatter using a rolling pin until the discs are about 4 inches wide. Put in the pan over medium heat until the surface starts showing some bumps. Flip it; the other side should show some brown spots. Flip it again when the bottom side starts showing brown spots as well. Using a folded kitchen cloth (or, in my case, a clean cloth diaper), press down on the edges of the chapati to make the center puff out. When it has sufficiently ballooned, it’s ready to serve. It does deflate once taken off the fire, so don’t worry that it goes flat again. This recipe makes about 12 pieces.

Hope these recipes can be of use to you. What else do you dip in hummus? Have you tried using tortilla to substitute for pita? Thoughts please.

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