I’ve never really been a huge fan of hummus. In fact, I’ve bought it multiple times throughout the years, tried a tiny bit, and tossed the whole container in the garbage. I wanted to like it, but I didn’t. It just wasn’t my thing.
But, now it is!
Once I made the commitment to myself to eat less meat (I still indulge once in awhile), I discovered just how good hummus could be. It all started when I ordered a vegetarian pita wrap at our local Greek restaurant.
It looked like it was just a Greek salad stuffed in a pita; but once I bit into it, I tasted something smooth, nutty, and spectacular!
There was a giant glob of homemade hummus under that salad, and it tasted nothing like any hummus I’ve ever bought at the grocery store! I was hooked.
I figured the only way I was going to get hummus that tasted like that was to make it myself.
I dug through all of my cookbooks, and finally found inspiration in “The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook” by Linda Fraser. She had a recipe for Pan Fried Zucchini and Hummus. It looked like such a weird combination, but it sounded amazing!
I didn’t follow her recipes at all. I knew I wanted to make an Indian spiced hummus and zucchini with ghee, turmeric and cumin. I read which ingredients she used to make hummus, and I got to work experimenting.
Hummus, in it’s most basic form, is simply made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice and olive oil. Simple!
Because I wanted mine to be a little more than basic, I dry roasted a bunch of Indian spices in a pan and added in a little garlic towards the end of the roasting process (I think it makes the garlic taste a little more complex than just tossing in raw garlic).
I tossed the spices, along with the chickpeas, into the bowl of my food processor and blended everything until it was a smooth consistency.
I added the tahini, lemon juice and a little water to the mixture, and let it process again. I tasted it; and added salt, black pepper and a little more lemon juice. I tossed in some chopped coriander (cilantro).
I started the food processor back up (on low) and drizzled a little olive oil into the hummus–until it reached a perfectly smooth consistency.
For those that are interested, hummus has around 100 calories for a 2 tbsp. serving.
I garnished my hummus with some chopped cilantro, sliced red chilies (for Piyush) and a little bit of feta cheese.
I served it along with wedges of pita bread and zucchini.
The zucchini was really simple to prepare. I put a little ghee (if you’re vegan, skip the ghee and increase the olive oil) mixed with a small amount of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed pan. I turned the flame to medium and tossed in a good teaspoon of cumin seeds.
Once the cumin began to pop and sizzle I added 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric and 1 tsp. ground cumin. I also added a few curry leaves (these can be omitted).
Once the spices no longer smelled raw (this is especially important for turmeric, in my personal opinion), I added about 3 (maybe 4) cups of diced zucchini to the pot, along with a little water (maybe a couple tablespoons).
I let this cook, uncovered, on medium heat for about 15 minutes. I then seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
Cooking zucchini this way is so easy, and so flavorful! Because it’s now zucchini season here, in Minnesota, Piyush and I eat this quite a lot! In fact, Piyush loves it mixed with a little potato and served over some basmati rice.
Sometimes, I’ll even cook some dal (lentils) with the rice, and serve a sort of “dried” khichadi (the ULTIMATE Indian comfort food).