The first thing to survive Summer is to spend as little time sweating in the kitchen. That has always been my motto. I usually go by a the rule that I. The Summer, I should not be spending more than 20 minutes in the kitchen for one meal. The cooking time and resting time can be longer, as long as it doesn't tie me to the stove on no end.
It goes without saying that comes the heat and we are less hungry and have little craving for a hot meal.
Hummus, is that big solution to summer meals. It is healthy, can be made in bulk, and is super versatile. You can have it with just about anything and it can be flavoured to your taste. And, it is super easy to make.
All you need are some chickpeas (Chole) and sesame seeds. And if you know the secret of speed soaking, you don't even need to plan that meal 8 hours in advance if all you have are dry chickpeas around.
Speed soaking RULES
I urge you to try it, for all your pulses and beans soaking need. I honestly don't bother with the overnight method anymore. To speed soak any dry bean or lentils all you need to do is put them in a pan of cold water and bring it to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes before turning off the heat. Then, cover the pan with a lid for one hour and let it rest. Your pulse will be as soft that way as they would be using the long 8 hours soak.
Once they are soaked, you cook them in the pressure cooker as usual.
Let's go back to Hummus now that I gave you that handy trick.
Hummus is made of puréed chickpeas mixed with Tahini (sesame paste) and seasoning. Most gourmet store in India will sell it to you at the price of gold. That, despite the fact that all the ingredients to pull you own version are readily available in India at a fraction of the cost.
I have also seen too many recipe asking you to use store bought Tahini...say what?????
Tahini is nothing but ground sesame seeds mixed with a little sesame oil. Don't waste your money on imported one. If you have a mixie, you can make both Tahini and Hummus. I am yet to find a middle class Indian household that doesn't have a mixie around.
For my reciepe you will need :
1 cup sesame seeds and a little sesame oil for the Tahini
1 cup dry chickpeas that you will soak, cook and cool
2-3 cloves garlic
A splash of olive oil
1) First, speed soak your chickpeas and then pressure cook as usual
2) while the chickpea is soaking, make your Tahini. Put your sesame seeds in the mixie and blitz to a powder. It will be slightly sticky at this point because the broken seeds will release their natural oil. Add a little sesame oil to your mix and blitz until smooth. The paste should look like some slightly runny peanut butter.
You can store your Tahini in an airtight container in the fridge, the quantity you'll yield is more than you will require for the hummus.
3) Once your chickpeas are cooked and cooled (you can speed that up by pouring cold water on them), put them in the mixie. Add the garlic, salt, olive oil, and two heaped table spoon of tahini before starting to blitz. Add a little water at a time while grinding, until you have a smooth creamy paste.
4) You hummus is now ready! Serve it with raw vegetable sticks, and bread, or even as a side to other dishes.
I gave you the base recipe, I like my hummus very garlic-y. But if you prefer a spicier version, by all mean add red chilli powder to the mix. Or herb it adding parsley. As I said it is a very versatile dish, experiment at will with it.
This recipe yield about two cups of hummus, and it stores well in an airtight container for at least a week (That is how long I have kept it so far). It stays fine in tiffins and my daughter has taken some to school as she LOVES it. We absolutely can't go wrong with hummus in this home.