Smooth and Creamy Hummus

The season of parties and get-togethers is upon us! I love having a batch of hummus ready at the go, as it makes such a lovely appetizer. Although I already have already shared a yogurt based hummus recipe, this recipe is for a traditional hummus. Please spare yourself and your guests from the premade gloop sold in grocery stores, and spend 5 minutes to whizz together this delicious and healthy Middle Eastern dip. You won’t regret it, promise 😉

(Recipe adapted from Amanda’s Plate)

 

 

Hummus

(Overnight)

Yield: 5 – 6 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ – 1 cup water, as needed, cold
  • Olive oil, as needed, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, soak chickpeas in cold water overnight.

Drain chickpeas and transfer to a large vessel. Cover with cold water and add baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the chickpeas are cooked through and tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and cool slightly for a few minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooked chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Begin running the food processor, and slowly add water until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

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Karachi Bun Kabab

It’s reveal day for the Muslim Food Blogger Challenges! This month’s challenge was to share a recipe for Pakistani food (and to say I was thrilled would be an understatement). I was especially excited because although at first I didn’t know exactly what recipe I wanted to share, I knew that I wanted to share something that would be special to not only Pakistan, but to the city of Karachi (my family hails from this part of Pakistan).

I took an informal survey in an online group that I am a part of, and asked what food was considered special to Karachi. I got a variety of answers, but one that stood out to me was Bun Kabab. Bun Kabab is a Karachi street side staple. It’s basically a burger bun stuffed with a kabab, and topped with a slightly sweet and spicy chutney, sliced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage.

My husband is especially fond of Bun Kababs, and lovingly recalls his favorite street-side vendor from when he was growing up (Tippu’s). Our trip to Pakistan this past March left him speechless, because his beloved street-vendor was now the proud owner of a brick-and-mortar storefront! Clearly his Bun Kababs were the real deal, because owning property in Karachi is no joke.

Generally speaking, when someone mentions Pakistani food, the first thing that comes to mind is meat. Pakistanis love their meat, as can be seen by the vast variety of dishes specific to the cuisine of the country. However, let me blow your mind by telling you that everyone’s beloved Bun Kabab is entirely vegetarian (and can be vegan if leaving out the eggs and yogurt)! Say what?! Yes, you read that correctly. A completely vegetarian meal that nearly every Pakistani loves.

POOF!

Mind. Blown.

(Recipe from Food Fusion.)

Click below to check out the yummies everyone is sharing:

 

 

Karachi Bun Kabab

Yield: 12 – 15 Bun Kababs

Ingredients:

For Kababs:

  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ cup split bengal gram / channa daal
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½- inch piece ginger, peeled
  • ½-inch piece cinnamon
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 whole black peppers
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala
  • Salt, to taste

For Bun Kabab Chutney:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sweet tamarind chutney
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Handful cilantro
  • Handful mint leaves

To Assemble:

  • Oil, to shallow fry
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Slider buns or small burger buns
  • Onions, sliced
  • Cucumbers, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cabbage, shredded

Directions:

Make Kababs:

In a medium sized vessel, combine water, bengal gram, turmeric, cumin seeds, ginger, cinnamon, red chillies, cloves, and black peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and the water has evaporated, 60 to 90 minutes. Cool slightly.

Transfer cooked mixture to a food processor and grind until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add mashed potatoes, onion, cilantro, chaat masala, and salt. Mix well. Using about ¼-cup of mixture (or a little less), form patties and refrigerate.

Make Bun Kabab Chutney:

Combine all ingredients in the blender jar and blitz until smooth. Set aside.

Assemble Bun Kababs:

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a fry pan over medium heat.

Dip kabab patties into the egg, making sure both sides of the kabab are coated. Place kabab in frying pan and cook until the bottom is golden brown, flip, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove kababs from the pan and set aside.

On the same pan, lightly toast the buns on both sides. Remove from heat.

To assemble, spread a spoonful of chutney on both sides of the bun. Place sliced onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes on the bottom bun. Top with fried kabab, shredded cabbage, and top bun.

 

Note: Kababs can be frozen once shaped. To use, simply microwave frozen patties for 30-seconds, then proceed as written. Leftover Bun Kabab Chutney must be refrigerated.

Pico De Gallo

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and with that I’m in make-the-most-of-it-mode.  Before you know it, we’ll be pumpkin spicing everything, and we’ll be longing for the days of backyard barbecues and gorgeous summer produce.

This recipe for Pico De Gallo, a tomato heavy side to eat alongside almost anything (chips, tacos, burgers, etc.) is an ode to the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables.  Tomatoes are being harvested in loads, and these beautiful gems are at the peak of their freshness.  Speaking of tomatoes, I planted 9 tomato plants in my yard this year, and although they’ve grown tremendous and look lush (they even have gorgeous yellow blooms!), I’ve had zero harvest.  Not a single tomato. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

😐 😐 😐

In any case, the grocery stores and farmers markets are packed to the brim with these beauties, so I’ve been filling the hole in my heart (from this year’s lackluster garden) with them.

(Recipe adapted from Serious Eats)

 

 

Pico De Gallo

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes and salt. Transfer to a colander and drain for 30 minutes. Discard liquid.

Return tomatoes to bowl and combine remaining ingredients. Mix and taste. Season with additional salt if necessary.

 

Brown Lentil Daal / Sabut Masoor Daal

One of my goals for this year, in terms of blogging, was to share more traditional Pakistani fare and to share more of what we eat on a regular basis.  I have always had a hard time photographing Desi (hailing from the South Asian Subcontinent) food, and I guess I’ve allowed it to be the reason why I didn’t share much of it.  It’s funny because we eat more Desi food than any other cuisine at home, but this little virtual space doesn’t reflect that.  I hope to change that in the coming months.

As for the recipe I am sharing today, Daal translates to lentils, and there are literally hundreds of variations of soupy curries that can be made with these humble pulses.  This Daal is one that I make on a weekly basis.  It screams comfort and is homely.  It’s simple, filling, nutritious, and delicious. It’s great piled on rice, with some yogurt and sliced onions on the side.  Consider it Desi comfort food 🙂

 

 

Sabut Masoor Daal

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

Note: measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.

  • 4 – 6 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils/ sabut masoor daal
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Handful mint leave, chopped, optional

Directions:

In a large vessel, combine water, lentils, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, and red chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until lentils are softened and water has significantly evaporated, about 45 to 60 minutes. Be sure to check on daal often, stirring and adding extra water as needed.

Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to pulse daal to desired consistency. Add salt and keep covered.

Warm oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, while stirring often, until they start to show signs of browning. Add cumin seeds and cook until the onions are golden brown. Pour oil and onion mixture (tempering) over the daal, and let it sit undisturbed, and covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. If using mint, stir it in to the daal, and let it sit covered, and undisturbed, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Here in the Midwest the weather has finally started to cool down and we’re entering my favorite season of the year, Autumn! I love everything about it- the colors, the cooler weather, the fallen leaves, the longer nights, and the abundance of fall-centric produce (think apples, pumpkins, pears, etc.).

The cooler weather has me wanting to cook things that warm our bellies and souls. I personally am not a fan of smooth soups (I prefer some texture in my soup; something about the smoothness reminds me of baby food), but tomato soup is the sole exception. I like my tomato soup unadulterated and free of unnecessary frills (oooh fighting words!). I prefer the flavor of tomatoes to shine. I’ve tried my hand at many recipes, but my search for the ultimate grilled cheese partner in crime has come to an end, much thanks to Sarah at Flour & Spice. Her recipe results in a soup that lets the tomatoes be the star (rightfully so).

So go ahead and start warming up friends, it’s only going to get colder 😉

 

RoastedTomatoSoupPic

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a foil lined tray, combine tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until caramelized.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a large cooking vessel. Increase heat to medium high, and add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add sugar, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more of the remaining broth to thin it out. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings.