I love hummus.
I love it as a snack. I love eating it on it's own. I love it in a sandwich. I love it with a crudite, I love it on a cracker, or with lovely warm pide or flat bread. I love making it, I love eating it and I love trying out creating loads different flavours.
Have I told you how much I love hummus yet??
My favourite hummus is DIY . Or the kind you get from Levantine, Greek or Turkish delis and restaurants. Proper hummus that has been made in house. Or in small batches.
Back when I was a student in Sydney's Surry Hills I lived around the corner from a Lebanese take away that had the most colourfully delicious variants of hummus dips imaginable, piled up in tubs like you see in an Italian Gelatoria. Orangey yellow carrot,hot pink beetroot, bright green parsley & spinach and their deeply delicious ordinary chickpea hummus. They also made a wonderful eggplant/aubergine babaganush, which despite my years of effort in making I have never bettered. Every time we had a BBQ or party we'd go & stock up on these tasty, colourful dips, along with huge ovals of puffy flatbreads for our friends to tear & dip whilst the BBQ was cooking, and to soak up the copius amounts of beer & wine that had been invariably brought along.
I also seriously love dhaal. That crazy delicious lentil or yellow split peas or chickpea stew that is made with all kinds 0f variants throughout India & the subcontinent. It's nutricious, spicy & comforting all at once. All those spices, cooked down with gorgeously creamy pulses, maybe given an extra kick with a chutney? What's not to love?!
So, when I had half a bag of yellow split peas that was threatening to break & spill all over the pantry, and no containers left to pop it into that would fit in my teeny tiny cupboard, and despite loving dhaal, no other Indian dinner planned, I thought- maybe.. I could turn this into an Indianish hummus. Swapping the chickpeas for split peas. And adding in a teaspoon of garam masala & a hint of chilli.
It worked! ( Why have I not thought of this before!?)
It's a winner of a hummus type dish although it properly shouldn't actually be called hummus as it doesn't contain chickpeas. However , the yellow split peas, mashed into a paste, combined with tahini & lemon are so hummus like, that I can't call it anything else. So, Indian Hummus it is. Spicy & garlicky, with that creamyness of pulses and a hint of lemon.
This is glorious eaten with crudites, or splodged onto naan bread with some salad as a kind of Indian inspired sandwich.
- 400 g dry yellow split peas
- 1 Tbs tahini
- Juice half lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt to taste.
- Boil the split peas until they're really mushy- approx 45 mins . Drain & reserve a cup of the liquid used to boil it in.
- In a food processor, blitz all the ingredients into a paste, using enough of the reserved liquid to loosen the mixture to become a hummus texture.
- Taste & add more lemon juice, garam masala or salt as needed.
- Serve straight away with crudites as part of a mezze, or keep in the fridge for snacking & adding to sandwiches.