Hummus is an middle eastern spread made from chickpeas and ground sesame paste or Tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. It’s pretty easy to make but balancing the flavours can be tricky as you don’t want the flavours to overpower the main ingredient: chickpeas. Some variations of hummus have pistachios or walnuts to add a little nuttiness to the spread. Nice. Others have yoghurt in the mix: very creamy and super rich.
Recently I found a recipe for a beetroot hummus that not only looked beatiful but tasted divine. Really. You can trust me because I don’t like beet root on it’s own. I know it’s really healthy (among other things, beetroot is said to reduce blood pressure and is used as a treatment for a variety of conditions particularly illnesses relating to digestion and the blood) but I haven’t found a recipe that has made beetroot anywhere near tempting. By the way, it also contains no fat, has very few calories and is a great source of fibre.
The first thing that strikes you about the beetroot hummus is it’s bright, vibrant colour. A gorgeous milky pink, it’s like a raspberry sorbet, almost. Surely anything so pretty has to taste great!
The beetroot actually adds a little sweetness to the hummus, which is odd because on its own, the red root vegetable is quite earthy. It’s great as a dip and also a spread in sandwiches.
The first step in making the beetroot hummus is making the tahini (sesame seed paste). You can buy tahini off the shelves but its frightfully expensive — almost RM20 or more for a bottle! I decided to make my own, and it’s so easy I don’t think I’ll ever by the stuff.
8 Tablespoons sesame seeds
4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tepid water
Blend, adding the water gradually.
Now that that was done, I started with the Beetroot Hummus
1 medium beetroot, peeled and roughly cut
2 cups chickpeas, boiled. (reserve cooking liquid)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp tahini
salt and pepper to season
Method: Cook beetroot on a lightly oiled skillet/saucepan, covered, for about 15 minutes or till the crunchy cubes become soft. Ad the beetroot and all other ingredients in blender and blend. Blend. Blend till smooth.