An ‘Hummazing’ way to eat right in Ramazan

Published: July 12, 2014
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Hummus can be made with this quick and easy to follow recipe, making your taste buds wanting more of this appetizing meal! PHOTO: SAADIA TARIQ

Chop the veggies, whip up gram flour with seasoning, make a paste with water, dip the veggies and fry! Fasting and pakoras are insanely intertwined. Roadside vendors, kiosks, and general stores – all have flaming hot oil pans, centered neatly on busy roads, frying away these crunchy, deep mustard, vegetable fritter devils. Admittedly, they are best eaten after a hot day of fasting, right after gobbling up a mushy sweet date and right before sipping a deep red cold drink. The scrunch, the spice and the saltiness are all addictive.

But I protest against this addiction.

And this alluded me to think of something that; I could prepare ahead of time, that would be kinder on my digestive system and would have a longer shelf life. And yes, it’s compulsory for that something to be insanely delicious.

And voila, or is it Wallah… here it is!

As part of my effort to eat right in Ramazan, let me introduce to you an Hummazing option. Hummus, a Middle Eastern spread or dip made from chickpeas, olive oil and Tahini has attained popularity worldwide. Easy to prepare at home, it is extremely versatile and can be eaten at any meal of the day. You can slather it on freshly baked bread and eat it for sehri. Or you can whip up a selection of greens and nuts and throw in a dollop for a light iftar. Veggies crudités or a selection of pita bread can be dipped into hummus as a midnight snack. And at dinnertime you can accompany it with some grilled vegetables and pan-fried chicken – either way you cannot go wrong with this fulfilling hummazing blend.

Showcasing below is a simple recipe to enable you to create this magic at home. Prep your ingredients, keep everything in easy reach and hit off to making a tart, lightly seasoned, smoothly blended, delicious serving of Hummus.

Photo: Saadia Tariq

Ingredients: (Makes just about a cup)

Tahini paste – ¼ cup (available in most grocery stores now)

Lemon juice – ¼ cup (strained of all fibres and stones)

Olive oil – 2 tbsps

Garlic – 1 tsp (crushed)

Salt – ½ tsp

Cumin powder – ½ tsp

Chickpeas (drained and skinned) – 1 tin (220 gm)

Cold water – 3 tbsps

Photo: Saadia Tariq

Ingredients for the garnish:

– Paprika Powder

– Olive oil

– Nuts

– Parsley

Method:

1- Using a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the Tahini paste and lemon juice together; keep scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula and blend until smooth and slightly creamy.

2- Tip in some olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin powder, and blend again.

3- Last but not the least, tip in the drained and skinned chickpeas, and blend again. You will see the hummus taking shape; it will be smooth yet will have small pieces of chickpeas. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, and blitz again. Keep an eye not to make the mixture very runny.

Photo: Saadia Tariq

A smooth blend is now ready for you to arrange in a platter and serve. I used pine nuts, a sprinkle of paprika and a dash of olive oil, with warm breadsticks and crispy Melba toast.

Hummus will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can use it in salads as dressing or sandwich spread in place of margarine and even as a substitute for pizza sauce. It’s the perfect way to add some creamy, flavourful richness to anything you make!

Saadia Tariq

Saadia Tariq

The writer is a food consultant, blogger and food photographer. You can see her work on her website www.capturebyst.com, her Facebook page www.facebook.com/capturebyst or follow her on twitter @capturebyst (twitter.com/capturebyst).

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.