Hummus Trio & Baba Ghanoush

Hello my dear readers….hopefully you have been redirected from my former blog “Cook and Click” (www.cookandclick.com) and are here to follow more of my recipes. Its truly an awesome feeling to know that so many people read and appreciate my recipes and photography. You guys are the best!!! So I am going to request you guys…  to please follow my blog (button located on the top left bottom right of the page), submit it on stumble upon or share the links on facebook,  twitter and pinterest, or whatever other community that you might be active on.

My first post on Veggie Zest is one of my personal all time favorite hummus and baba ghanoush. As many of you might know (by reading from my earlier posts) I lived in the Middle East for sometime and it was then when I was introduced to the Arabic cuisine properly for the first time…although I had my first falafel sandwich when I was in my 10th grade (almost 16 years back)!

I was introduced to the cuisine in Kuwait but really started relishing it and exploring it after I came to the US. I ate at various Arabic restaurant mostly in Michigan at first and then later on things like hummus and baba ghanoush and pita were available in local stores (Publix) and there were chains serving the wraps (falafel and shawarma) in every city (Pita Pit).

I decided to do three kinds of hummus- 1. classic, 2. roasted pepper and my favorite 3. spicy black chickpeas. I experimented with the black chicpeas and the results were just fantastic! Black chickpeas are a little smaller in size than the regular garbanzo beans and are actually pretty popular in India. 

I served it with fresh homemade pita bread, but it will pair great with crackers, fresh veggies or any other kind of bread or baguette.

The recipe for baba ghanoush varies from one country to the other in the Middle East, for example when I ordered it in Kuwait…what came was nothing like what I had in the US. SO the recipe that I am sharing today is that of what I have been eating in the US…and it is delicious!

I think this recipe is Lebanese, I could be wrong though!

I used raw chickpeas for this recipe (soaked overnight and cooked in a pressure cooker) but you can use the canned variety although I am not sure if you would find the black chickpeas (kala chana) in a can. You might have to go to an Indian store to find it. 

Serves a few people

Cooking time 30 to 40 min 

Things You Will Need:

For Classic Hummus

1 cup chickpeas or garbanzo, cooked

3 cloves garlic

½ cup tahini

juice of ½ lemon 

¼ cup Olive Oil 

Salt to taste

 For Roasted Pepper Hummus 

1 cup chickpeas or garbanzo, cooked

1 medium red bell pepper, roasted and skin removed

2 tsp sweet paprika 

3 cloves garlic 

½ cup tahini 

juice of ½ lemon 

¼ cup Olive Oil 

Salt to taste

For Spicy Black Chickpeas Hummus

1 cup black chickpeas, cooked

1 tbs harissa (see here for the recipe) 

½ cup tahini 

juice of ½ lemon 

¼ cup Olive Oil 

Salt to taste

To make the hummus (all 3 kinds): Put everything in a blender and mix well till it forms a smooth paste. If you feel that the hummus is too thick, then you can add little warm water.

 For Baba Ghanoush 

1 big eggplant

4 tbs Tahini sauce

Paste of 1 clove garlic

juice of half to one lemon

2 tbs Olive oil

2 tsp dried mint

2 tsp dried parsley

Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

Salt

 In a preheated oven at 400F roast the eggplant for about an hour… (Poke some holes in the eggplant with a fork before putting it in the over, so that it doesn’t explode in there). Once the eggplant is cooked, take it out of the oven and put it in a bowl and cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool for approx. 12-15 min. This will help in peeling the skin off of the eggplant. After 15 min, peel the skin off using your hands- be careful as the eggplant is going to be very hot.

Take the peeled flesh of the eggplant and place it in a large mixing bowl. Mash the eggplant with a fork and add the garlic and salt to it while mixing it.

Once the mixture has reached the right consistency (chunky-ish paste) add the juice of half the lemon, dried herbs, and tahini sauce. Mix till all the ingredients are nicely combined with each other. Taste it at this point and adjust the salt and lemon juice as per your taste.