Monday, January 07, 2008

Hummus - A Spread that makes a difference!

My first entry to GYO (Grow Your Own), a monthly food blogging event that celebrates that we grow ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products. For more information about GYO, click

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    Hummus is a popular dip or spread in middle eastern countries. Its primary ingredient is chick peas mixed with garlic and lemon juice. There are many variations with spices as well.

    The hummus takes the center stage of this recipe - The spread that makes the difference! Since we are not in Middle Eastern country, we can’t easily find a good hummus unless you make it at home

    Since Hubby and I have lived in the middle east for quite some time, it is not unusual for us to crave for some Arabic foods that have influenced our palates like Shawarma – a popular street food made of flatbread filled with meat either chicken, beef or lamb and of course with hummus as spread. In other countries it is popularly known as wraps, but the spread is not hummus, made of mayonnaise with other variations but it’s the same idea, it is a wrap basically, but its a makes a complete meal coz it has the basic food groops, ie, carb, vegetables, meats, and its worth mentioning, the chickpeas is full pack of protein, iron and vitamin C.

    1 can chickpeas (cooked)
    2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 tsp. paprika
    1 tsp. cinnamon powder
    Juice of 2 lemons
    2 cloves garlic (grate)
    ½ Cup Olive Oil
    Fresh Parsley and basil (chopped)


    Grate garlic and set aside. Drain chickpeas and put in a food processor or blender, add lemon juice, grated garlic, cumin, paprika and cinnamon powder. Blitz for few seconds and stir. Blitz again for few minutes, while the machine is running, add the oil gradually until very fine and smooth. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and basil.

    For this recipe which has garlic, it is essential to have fresh herbs to go with it to fight the garlic breath – a distinctive odor after having some sauces with garlic. One of the cures of garlic breath is having something green, means with chlorophyll. This works wonders! Usually in Middle Eastern countries, they serve this with lots and lots of rockets, the purpose of which is to avoid garlic breath. Parsley also works well with garlic. Having that in mind, that’s why I added some parsley to the hummus.

    As my option is not very limited, I just asked hubby to get me some parsley and pass it across the kitchen window, I got a handful of parsley and sweet basil, which was a great idea. So, having some greens at hand is very useful.

    Straight from my tiny garden are fresh parsley and basil which we have grown them ourselves. We have a tiny garden in our terrace which original a space for ornamental plants but we squeezed them to one side to give a space for some herbs. We planted some seeds when we came back from vacation. So now, we have parsley, sweet basil, Thai basil, and Kangkong. Now I’m enjoying my little harvest for garnishes.

    While the hummus is ready, prepare the meats to go with it.

    White onion

    Slice onions and tomatoes thinly. Set aside

    Slice the beef thinly and set aside

    Grill the sausage.

    While the sausage on the grill, in hot pan with a teaspoon of oil, sear beef by adding one slice by slice so that the beef will not curl up when cooked. Stir-fry until the sides of the beef is done. You can tell when its done when the sides of the beef slices turn dark brown. Remove from pan. Add the sliced onions to the same pan. Do not be tempted to add oil. Just brown the onion by moving it around, taking the flavor of the beef at the same time. Remove from pan. Take out the sausage on the grill and slice thinly.

    Assemble the dish on a big tray and serve with flat bread on the side. Serve while the meats are still warm.

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