March is a special month for me. But I've already said that a million times. It's a month full of baking for me. And believe it or not over the last weekend I've baked at least 8 cakes if not more. Eight because one was a 5-layered cake for my sister's big three oh, but more about that later.
Just as I love baking, one of my favourite thing are dips and dipping sauces. I think they add a whole new dimension to your food. They can replace butter, make barbecue's taste tangier and a chip without dip, is like a fork without a noodle.
Whenever I have a party, I always, yes always have atleast two dips on the menu. And two only if I'm feeling stingy. Normally its four. I love this garlic yogurt dip that I learnt atleast a decade ago. And a Thai peanut dip, that I serve with every single vegetable I can get my hands on.
But when I know I have a crowd to cater to, I turn to an old faithful - hummus. This Meditteranean chickpea dip is a crowd pleaser. Kebabs can be dunked into it. Vegetable sticks find a perfect partner and well pita breads are the easiest accompaniment. Hummus is as low cal a dip as you'd like it to be. Put as much olive oil as you'd like. It's amazingly flavourful and doesn't spike the blood glucose level (didn't know this at all!)
I first learnt how to make hummus back in college, when I went to a cooking school once a week, all summer long. I've misplaced many of the recipes, but this one I know by heart. Oh and the teacher there taught me the way to make the creamiest and the most luscious hummus - the trick is to remove the skin of the chickpea. And then you'll get the smoothest hummus ever!
If you're wondering how to skin the chickpea, do it while its super hot or nice and cold. Throw it in a bowl full of water and squish the skin out with your hand. Try and get as many out, trust me, it'll make a huge difference.
Also my recipe for the hummus is immensely fiddlable Like it tangier, squeeze in some more lemon. Sharper? Add another clove of garlic. Creamier? More olive oil please. Whatever you like, make sure you serve with something you totally crisp - crackers, flatbread and some veggies are a good bet.
200 grams chickpeas soaked overnight
1 clove garlic
2 tblsp tahini paste
50 ml olive oil
1/2 cup water reserved from the boiled chickpeas
Juice of one lemon
1. Pressure cook the chickpeas for about 20 minutes or atleast 6 whistles. If you're using canned chickpeas, you will be skipping this step
2. Once cool, drain the chickpea and reserve 1/2 cup of the water. Submerge the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water and squish the skin out.
3. In a food processor/ blender add the chickpeas, water, tahini, salt, lemon juice and garlic. Pulse
4. Add olive oil, process until smooth. If you need more water or lemon, add now. Check for seasoning.
5. Plonk it out on to a bowl, mix in sumac and a little bit more olive oil. Let it sit for one hour before serving for the flavours to develop.
Oh and now coming to the main event. The winner of the colourful knife set is Gauri Shirke from the blog Runner Girl in the Kitchen. Gauri please email me within the next 48 hours, so that the knife set reaches you asap.
And now announcing my third giveaway in order to celebrate Cookaroo's first anniversary. In association with the good people of Leonardo Olive Oil, this giveaway is a really fun hamper of goodies from their repertoire: The hamper includes:
· Leonardo Gold PremiumExtra Virgin Olive Oil 250 ml
· Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil 250 ml,
· Leonardo Wholewheat Pasta- Spaghetti
· Leonardo Hojiblanca Black Sliced Olives
· Lime Premium Pickle
· Leonardo Olive Oil Recipe book
· EV Gold tasting card
The giveaway is open to bloggers and non-blogger's across India. If you're not in India, and would still like to participate, please send an address in India, where the hamper can be shipped to.
Here's what you have to do:
2. Follow Leonardo on Twitter
3. Follow Cookaroo on Facebook
4. Follow Cookaroo via email, rss feed or on google plus
5. Leave a comment where you're following Cookaroo as well.
The Leonardo and Cookaroo giveaway closes midnight March 25. Till then comment away.