Thursday, 11 February 2010

Ras-el-Hanout Hummus

Hummus has gone from being essentially unknown (in Ontario) when I was a kid, to being a regular staple in almost everyone's diet. You can buy it in tubs in every grocery store, and some of it's not bad at all. Still, like most things, it's way better when you make it yourself, and it's very easy if you have a food processor. You can used tinned chick peas but really, it's not hard to cook the chick peas and the texture and flavour are so much better it's well worth the time and minimal effort.

I made some ras-el-hanout a little while back and liked it but didn't quite know what to do with it. It occurred to me that it would be good in hummus. So it is, but if you want plain hummus, eliminate all the spices except the cumin and salt, and put in 3 tablespoons of tahini and taste it to decide if that's enough.

Makes about 2 to 3 cups hummus
4 hours to cook the chick peas - 15 minutes prep time for hummus

Ras el Hanout Hummus

Cook the Chick Peas:
2 cups dry chick peas

Which is a fair bit more than you will need for hummus, but why cook less? Extras can go in soups, stews or salad, and can be frozen for future use if you like. (2/3 to 3/4 cup dried will do if that's all you really want to cook.)

Put the chick peas into a large pot with plenty of water to cover - they expand considerably. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, and let the peas soak for an hour or two. Continue bringing them to a boil then leaving them to soak, covered, three or four more times, until they are well on the way to being cooked. At that point, bring them to a steady low boil, and boil until tender. Let cool before making the hummus.

Make the Ras-el-Hanout:
3/4 teaspoons cumin seed
3/4 teaspoons coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt

Grind the first 4 ingredients as finely as you can. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Make the Hummus:
2 cups cooked chick peas
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons tahini
about 1/4 cup cooking water from the chick peas
the juice of 1 lemon

Put the drained chick peas, peeled and sliced garlic cloves and tahini into a food processor, and process briefly add the spices, and process again, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add the cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture softens. Blend in the lemon juice, and add a little more cooking water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. Blend very well, until the hummus is smooth.

Pack into a tub and keep refrigerated until wanted; the hummus is best if the flavours are allowed to blend for several hours to overnight. Serve with bread, chips or crudités to dip.

Last year at this time I made Cheesy Potato Casserole.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

At this point, it's hard to imagine my life without hummus but there definitely used to be a time when I didn't know what it was. Strange.

I love this idea for flavoring it! Have to try it.