Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas and a few tasty ingredients. Typically, hummus has tahini (sesame paste). I do not enjoy tahini so I decide to skip it from the dip.
This easy and versatile dip tastes great with crudités, pita bread, chips, salads and wraps.
Hummus is forgiving when it comes to flavours; it adapts to most ingredients you add to it. I wanted something spicy, and I used a fresh jalapeño for the spicy kick.
My favourite way to consume hummus? With crunchy crudités.
Chickpeas - 1 can or 1 cup boiled chickpeas
Lemon juice - 1/2 tblspn.
Garlic - 2 cloves, peeled
Salt - To taste
Olive oil - 1 tblspn + 2 tspns for serving
Jalapeño - 1, stem removed, deseeded and deveined
Paprika - 1 pinch
If you're using canned chickpeas, drain the brine, clean it and keep aside.
In a clean and dry blending jar, add all the ingredients except paprika. Blend it to a smooth paste.
If required, add a little more oil to aid the blending process. Avoid using water to grind it.
Scoop out the hummus and place it in a serving cup, drizzle some olive oil. Sprinkle the paprika, and serve fresh.
- If you can't find fresh jalapeños, used the pickled ones or green chillies.
- If you are not a fan of spicy dips, omit the jalapeños. Add flavourings like parsley, coriander or mint.
- I added paprika for the smoky flavour, you could add cayenne pepper, black pepper powder or red chilli powder.
I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. Along with a little sickness comes the lack of interest to cook.
So, I decided to move it, and make something quick, soothing and nutritious. I had some pumpkin, carrot and celery; a soup seemed like the perfect option.
Simple, quick and very tasty, the pumpkin-ginger soup is just what I needed to make me feel better.
Pumpkin - 250 gms, peeled and cut into chunks
Ginger - 1 inch piece, peeled
Garlic - 5 cloves, peeled
Carrot - 1, peeled and roughly chopped
Celery - 1, roughly chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tspn.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tspn.
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Stock - 4 cups
Oil - 1/2 tblspn.
Salt and pepper - To season.
Cream - 2 tspns. (Optional)
Place the pressure cooker on the stove. Heat oil; to it, add ginger and garlic. Allow it to infuse in the oil for about 30 seconds.
Add the remaining vegetables, dry spices, salt and stick. Give it a quick stir.
Cover the pressure cooker. Cook for 2 whistles.
Once done, allow it the pressure to settle. Open the cooker and using an immersion blender, make a smooth soup.
Serve hot with a dash of cream and a side of crisply toasted bread.
- I added the celery and carrot to thicken the soup. If you don't have these veggies, add a small peeled potato instead.
- Add or omit spices depending on your preference.
- if you do not have an immersion blender. Wait for the soup to cool, and then put it in a blending jar & make a smooth soup.
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, do the same in a pot and cook the vegetable till soft. Finally, blend into a soup.
Bread Upma (A bread-based savoury dish)
This is one of the easiest dishes to make for a lazy weekend breakfast or for a quick-fix weeknight dinner.
This super easy upma is my go-to dish when a pack of bread is nearing the end of its shelf life. It is also a good way to use up things when you're clearing your pantry and fridge.
Bread upma can be made with any veggies of your choice; I've kept it pretty basic as I did not restock my fridge.
Bread slices – 7
Onion- 1, finely chopped
Tomato - 1, deseeded, finely chopped
Capsicum - 1/4, deseeded and chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Ginger - a small piece, peeled and finely chopped
Green chillies - 2, deseeded and chopped
Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tblspn.
Chaat masala - 1/2 tspn.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn.
Chilli powder - 1 tspn.
Garam masala - 1 tspn.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn.
Oil - 2 tspns.
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Water - To soften the vegetables
Lemon juice - 1 tblspn.
Salt - To taste
Cut bread into small cubes, and keep aside.
Heat oil in a skillet, and add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add asafoetida.
Toss in the ginger and garlic pieces. Sauté till the raw smell of ginger and garlic is gone.
Add the green chillies & chopped onion, and cook till onions turns soft.
Once cooked, add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well and cook for a minute.
To the mixture, add the dry spices except salt.
Mix to combine the ingredients. Sprinkle a little water to let the tomatoes turn slightly mushy.
Once the tomatoes have turned soft and mushy, add the capsicum pieces.
Mix everything well. Sprinkle a little more water, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
After the said time, add the bread pieces.
Give it a good mix and ensure the bread is coated in the cooked veggies.
Allow this to cook for another minute.
Turn the stove off.
Pour the lemon juice over the upma and sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot, topped with some sev.
- Use any type of bread. I have used multigrain bread slices.
- I have used red capsicum, use green, yellow or a mix of 3 capsicums.
- Use veggies of your choice to make the upma more nutritious.
- The same goes with spices; add or omit spices depending on your preference.
Often, I look for healthy snacking options especially for those post-workout hunger pangs. On one of my grocery runs, I saw these dates, almond and coconut balls; not only were they pricey but also contained obscene amounts of glucose and sugar in it.
Although very appetising, the thought of consuming sugar in that quantity put me off. So, I decided to make my own version with no added sugar. The necessary sweetness comes from the amazing dates.
With just two ingredients, this is a quick snack that can be fixed in minutes. You can store it an airtight container in the fridge for use later. This is perfect for pre/post-workout snacking, kids' lunch boxes and those midnight sweet carvings.
Note: If you are diabetic or insulin resistant, go easy on these.
Dates - 15 (I used medjool dates, use any soft date varieties)
Shredded desiccated coconut - 2 heaped tablespoons + 1 heaped tblpsn.
Remove the pits from the dates.
Put 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut in a plate.
Chop the dates roughly into little pieces, and place them in a mixing bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut into the mixing bowl.
Mix the ingredients to combine well.
Make little balls out of the mixed ingredients.
Roll them on the desiccated coconut that we placed in the plate.
Put them in a clean, dry airtight container. Consume as required.
- Add chopped nuts and raisins for variety.
- Replace dates with semi dried apricots.
This chickpeas-based curry is a popular Indian dish, which is typically served with pooris or bhatura (both flat breads). This curry is a gorgeous blend of whole and ground spices with a hint of tanginess. Chole masala originated in North India, and is widely popular across the country.
This dish was a regular feature in my home. As a I child, I used to look forward to the days when my mum made chole masla; it was served hot with freshly made puffed pooris and a wedge of lemon on the side.
Chole masala can be made with gravy or semi dry, depending on your preference. I like my chole less watery.
Chickpeas - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 2 large
Ginger- 1 inch piece, julienned
Tomato purée - 2 1/2 cups
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Tea bags – 2
Red chilli powder - 1 tspn
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Aamchur/ dry mango powder - 1/2 tspn.
Tamarind paste - 1/4 tspn.
Chole masala powder - 3 tspns.
Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - 1 tspn.
Coriander leaves - 1 tblspn, chopped
Water - 4 cups
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 Tblspns.
Soak chickpeas in water overnight for 8 to 12 hours.
Drain the water in which the chickpeas have been soaking.
Place the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker.
Pour 4 cups of water. Along with it add cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and chickpeas.
Cover pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
While the chickpeas are cooking, chop one whole onion finely.
Cut the other onion into thin round slices. Keep aside.
Once the cooker’s pressure settles, discard the whole spices and tea bags.
Strain the water from the chickpeas, and reserve the stock to make the gravy.
Heat oil in a skillet or pot, add chopped onions and fry till translucent.
While the onions are cooking, add a few pieces of julienned ginger.
Once the ginger is fragrant, add tomato purée.
Allow it to cook so the raw smell of tomatoes is gone, and till oil separates from the purée.
To this, add the dry spices excluding kasoori methi and tamarind paste.
Stir to combine the spices and tomato-onion mixture.
Add some of the strained chickpeas stock to thin the gravy down.
Bring it to a boil. Add the boiled chickpeas. Mix well.
At this stage, add salt, and more stock optionally to make the gravy dilute.
Crush and sprinkle kasoori methi in the curry.
Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes.
After the said time, the gravy would have reduced a bit.
You could leave it at that if you want your curry semi-dry or add 1/2 to 1 cup water and proceed cooking it for 5 to 7 minutes.
Whichever option you choose, once the curry had achieved the desired consistency, add slices onions and the remaining julienned ginger pieces on top of the curry.
Additionally, garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Cover and keep the vessel on low flame for 2 minutes.
Once done, turn the stove off and serve hot chole masala with flat breads or steamed white rice.
- This recipe does not require garlic. However if you choose to include it, add garlic paste while the chopped onions are cooking.
- If you don't have tea bags, boil tea. Strain the tea and use the water in the gravy.
- Typically, anardana powder (powdered pomegranate seeds) is added. The chole masala powder I used, contained the ingredient so I skipped it.
- If you think the dish is too tangy for you, avoid using the tamarind paste.
- To make the curry more indulgent, cook it in ghee or butter.