hummus ghannouj

Hummus, one of the oldest known prepared foods, is traditionally made with cooked, mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Hummus means "chickpea" in Arabic, so the full Arabic name for the dish is "hummus bi tahini" meaning "chickpeas with tahini."

Baba ghannouj (also spelled ghanoush or ghannoug) is another Arab dish of eggplant eaten as a dip or added to other dishes. The eggplant is often roasted, then mashed and usually mixed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and spices such as cumin, mint, or parsley. Hummus and baba ghannouj are two of my favorite dips, and this recipe combines them in a creamy spread. Spending a couple extra minutes toasting and grinding the sesame seeds yourself rather than buying pre-made tahini makes a remarkable difference in the flavor.

Makes 2-3 cups
Time: 1 hour

1 large eggplant
2-3 large garlic cloves
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4-1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water, or more as needed

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Prick the eggplant with a fork and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or until it collapses on itself. Slice it open to cool, and remove the skin of the eggplant with your hands.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat, shaking often, until slightly darkened, fragrant, and smoking slightly. Place the seeds, eggplant flesh, lemon juice, oil, water, salt, and cumin in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add garlic and chickpeas and blend, adding water a tablespoon at a time if it is too thick.

Garnish with olive oil, paprika, pine nuts, and/or chopped herbs such as parsley or basil.

1 comment:

  1. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJune 17, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    This hummus looks very good.