Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hummous, Falafel and Tahini - A Middle Eastern affair with chickpeas/ Kabuli Chana

I must say, the title of this post, were words I was completely unaware of, till I moved abroad.
‘J’ says it’s all thanks to him, that I’m now enlightened. Hmmph!!  J would always pick up a small pack of Hummous from the ‘Middle East’ shelf, in the supermarket and pita bread to accompany it. I have had no affinity for hummous, sans some flavoured ones. That too, I have never wanted or ‘felt’ like having hummous. Obviously ‘J’ does.

Now that we are in India, he gets ‘Hummous’ withdrawal sometimes I think. Hehe. Just joking. Hummous, is not available in the supermarkets in the city where I stay; Tahini is, though. Each time, we go for a buffet dinner to our favourite restaturant here, J loads up Hummous and some carrot or bread sticks and savours every mouthful.  

When Amma came to visit us in Michigan, she loved the Falafel wrap from a café called ‘Jerusalem Garden’, which specialized in Middle Eastern food. Would Being a vegetarian, Amma’s favourite meal on a weekend would be a ‘Falafel Wrap’. As you can imagine Amma and ‘J’ would be raving about the falafel and the hummous respectively, while I would be left wondering when my shawarma would arrive!!

I recently saw a re-run of Masterchef India on TV, where the chefs were conjuring, much to Amma’s delight, what else!,Falafels! So I looked up a recipe for Hummous, and decided to go with ‘Smitten Kitchen’’s version. The recipes for Tahini and Falafels are from ‘Masterchef India’, the recipe of which has been referred from here.   

I shallow fried the falafels, instead of deep frying as the recipe suggests. It was ok, but J said the consistency was a bit different. So, the next batch was deep fried. I would suggest deep frying the falafel.
As for the Hummous, you could adjust the lemon juice, based on your preference. J added a bit more juice according to his taste. I made only half the quantity of what the recipe suggested. It yielded me 2 standard bowls of hummous. (the green bowl shown In the first pic)


Makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup sesame seed paste (Tahini, recipe given below)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and more to taste
Cayenne, hot Hungarian paprika or za’atar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas well and drain them before putting them in a saucepan and covering them with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil; skim, add one-half teaspoon salt, cover and cook over medium heat, about 1 1/2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft (you might need to add more water).

2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and one-half teaspoon salt in a mortar until pureed. Transfer the puree to the work bowl of a food processor, add the sesame seed paste and lemon juice and process until white and contracted. Add one-half cup water and process until completely smooth.

3. Drain the chickpeas, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas to the sesame paste mixture and process until well-blended. For a smoother texture, press the mixture through the fine blade of a food mill. Thin to desired consistency with reserved chickpea liquid. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. The hummus can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.) Serve, sprinkled with paprika (or za’atar) and parsley and drizzled with oil. 
(I used some chilli flakes)

Tahini Sauce -

White Sesame seeds - 30 gms
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Toast the sesame seeds.  Do not brown
Put in blender and make a fine paste with olive oil.

Falafel -
Whole chick pea ( Kabuli Channa) - 200 gms
Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped
Green chilies - 1-2 - to taste - finely chopped
Parsley - I used coriander
Garlic - 3-4 - finely chopped
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
( I do not know if ginger was used, but finely chopped ginger would add to the taste)

Soak the chickpea ovenight or atleast for 6-8 hours
Drain.  And make a paste in the blender with green chilies and garlic
Add the chopped onions, green chilies, the spice powders
The salt and coriander leaves/parsley
Mix well
Make small balls, flatten and place in hot oil
This does not require any binding, and do not disturb them when frying, only gently turn over when under side is brown
Drain and keep aside

Recipe Source:
Hummous - Smitten Kitchen
Falafel and Tahini - Masterchef India, A Liberal dose of Masala


  1. Nice recipe.. Thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Shobha! Sorry abt the late reply..Thanks for dropping by...mighty glad to hear u liked the recipe

  3. I made this too after watching Masterchef India!

  4. Hey, after posting the earlier comment, I noticed that you have mentioned by blog as a source for the recipe. Thanks.

    1. Hi Radha! Thanks so much for dropping by. I did search quite a bit for this recipe and wasn't available even on the Masterchef site. Thanks for noting it down.


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