Spice up your hummus game with Indian spices and lentils to make dal hummus. A most perfect dip and spread for healthy, vegan, snacks and lunches. Spread this dip on wraps or use it to plunge in fresh vegetables and bread.
Good old hummus. Reliable hummus. A constant feature on our grocery shopping list this ubiquitous chip dip was, once upon a time in the UK, rarely encountered outside of the kebab shop. I do however vaguely remember at least one incense-permeated vegetarian cafe in the mid-1980s serving it with the likes of chips (French fries) and macaroni cheese.
Those were odd times. I wasn’t tempted.
If you are under age 28 you will never have known such culinary deprivation. But yes, before 1990, it was just Waitrose (a store only in England at the time) and specialist stockists who carried those familiar plastic pots of pureed chickpeas.
Back then it would have been the one flavour: beige. Not much lemon or garlic; probably not even olive oil. I would add in more lemon. I still do. 🙂I may have first eaten hummus in, of all places, Edinburgh. When Andrew and I were fairly newly married, and lived in a flat in Edinburgh’s New Town, we thought ourselves very fancy sitting out on the front step in the sun, a dragged down wooden table laid with olives, oatcakes, cheese straws and deli-purchased hummus. That was back when we could legit eat a whole carton of all of these and not think where it all might end up on our bodies. 🙂
Those days of 100 per cent mortgages and endless sunny summers are long gone but our taste (mine and the UK’s) for this chickpea, garlic, lemon and olive oil spread has only grown keener.
And now, 2018, almost everyone eats hummus. At least in the UK. Seemingly the UK is the epicentre for hummus consumption in Europe. Or at least 40 per cent of us have a pot of it shoved in the back of the fridge. But, as you will have read, there is a bit of a chickpea crisis. And, consequently, the price of our favourite dip has edged up 30 percent since January 2017. That’s quite a hike. What with the chickpea crisis and the avocado crisis, what’s a hipster to do?
DIY it, of course. At least the hummus part.
On this here blog you will find My Perfect (-ly Smooth) Hummus as well as various hummus-like dips ( I really like this version of hummus, although there isn’t a bean to be seen), but it’s been ages since I offered another. I do play around with flavours all of the time, despite having an extremely low tolerance for the chickpea (don’t ask), but basically it is still variations of the Middle Eastern staple we know and love.
Until I tried a dal hummus at Waitrose. It was so good that I thought, I will need to make my own so I don’t empty my wallet every week at Waitrose. Er, I still empty my wallet there, but just not on hummus.
The Waitrose version doesn’t tell you what spices it uses but I had a fair stab at it, basically throwing in most likely spices as well as tomato puree. At first I tried to make it without adding chickpeas but found it far too thin to pass off as a dip. Tasty, though. So, I’ve since added chickpeas, served it at work and had a colleague say it is the best hummus she’s ever had. (thanks, Issy!).
Feel free to play with the spices and their proportions. The main thing is to make a lentil and chickpea mash with at least a slight Indian accent. I took it into work garnished with lightly roasted Chantenay carrots and cauliflower, plus a small palmful of fresh dill and a scattering of kalonji (black onion) seeds. Just as it is with best olive oil and veggies and bread for dipping is perfect, too.
But please, please, please: no French fries and macaroni cheese.
Spiced Dal Hummus
Spice up your hummus game with Indian spices and lentils to make dal hummus. A most perfect dip and spread for healthy, vegan, snacks and lunches. If possible, use whole spices. I think it makes such as difference. Spread this wholesome dip on wraps or plunge in fresh vegetables and pitta bread.
**Try not to be put off by the long list of spices: use what you have, or even try this with 1/2 tablespoon of good garam masala spice mix. It won’t be as rounded in taste, but will give you a difference to “normal” hummus.** xx
1/2 tsp ground coriander or 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin or 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
3 green pods of cardamom, cracked and seeds removed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 – 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground Kashmiri chilli or cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or 3-4 cm cinnamon stick, broken
1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds
6-8 dried curry leaves (if at all possible)
rounded 1/8 dried dill (optional)
5 cm piece ginger, peeled and minced/finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
175g (1 cup) dry red lentils (masoor dal), rinsed
150g (3/4 cup) cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
4 tbsp light tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp tomato paste/concentrate
1 + lemons, juiced (add according to your taste; I love it lemony!)
Best olive oil, to help blend it all
Salt, to taste
1. Heat a small skillet over a low-medium heat and add the spices, curry leaves, seeds, garlic and ginger. Shake the pan and heat everything until it all smells lovely and spicy. Remove from the heat and grind to a powder in a coffee/spice grinder, mini food processor, or even a pestle and mortar if you are very strong. Adding some of the oil and sea salt will help with the latter. Set aside.
2. Cook the lentils thoroughly but not to a mush, if possible. Drain very well , leave to cool for 15 minutes, and add to the bowl of a food processor, along with the chickpeas, tahini, tomato paste, lemon and spices. Blend very well, adding up to 50 millilitres of olive oil through the tube of the processor. Season to taste.
Serve with more olive oil swirled on top and maybe roasted spices or herbs, like dill or coriander/cilantro. Enjoy in salad-stuffed wraps or rolls, with chopped fresh vegetables, roasted vegetables and pitta chips. this should keep for five days in your fridge.
RIPE FOR PINNING!