S’s work takes him to Israel often and I get to cook with good quality olive oil and olives from there. First time I got a fresh bottle, S directed me to pour the oil onto a white plate and observe its color. The best quality olive oil has a cloudy appearance and shiny golden-green color, he announced. This oil did fit the requirement and I could smells its fruity fragrance in the air. I generously dipped a toasted whole wheat bread into that oil and tasted its authentic taste for the first time. I felt like being transported to the land of olives. This clean, crisp oil tempted me to use that for regular Indian cooking as well.
Last September when he visited Israel for a month, he had a lovely time visiting his colleague’s family for dinners. It was the month of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Actually it didn’t sound like a biz trip to me when he narrated the fun he had gorging on delicious food and wine. This time he brought with him two huge olive oil bottles, one he said for cooking and the other for our little Prince’s body massage. His friend’s sent me New year gifts; porcelain pomegranates and “Bless this home” wall hanging. It’s a belief that the person who owns it will be blessed with happy moments equivalent to the number of arils (seed casings) found in it.
Hummus has become an integral part of our family and S jokes that the hummus is made more number of times in our house than in a middle eastern household. I try to add variation to it by adding avocado or mint leaves or roasted sesame seeds or cilantro depending on the things I find in my kitchen. S was so addicted to it that he will eat them with any bread available at home. So I recreated this hummus after reading the list of ingredients in that packet and also making them at home is cost effective.
Spicy sweetness from bell peppers, pungent flavor from garlic and mild heat from the jalapenos add a lovely flavor and texture to this hummus. The addition of tahini paste adds a gentle creaminess to it and finally the zesty lemon and parsley creates a refreshing taste to it. I love its color and I enjoy them with carrots and celery sticks.
Ingredients 1 large red bell pepper
6 garlic cloves
6 pickled jalapenos
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 can organic garbanzo beans (15oz)
1/2 cup tahini paste
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Clean and remove the seeds from the red bell peppers. Chop them into large chunks and pat dry them with kitchen towel. Mix garlic, jalapeno peppers and bell peppers with little salt, pepper and olive oil. Broil them for 15-18 minutes , until they are lightly charred. Be careful and keep an eye after 12 minutes. Remove and let them cool.
Drain the beans into a colander and rinse them in the running tap water.
Grind the beans, broiled veggies, tahini paste, juice of a lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil to a fine paste with little water. Finally add the parsley and pulse them together. Garnish with lemon zest and mix well before serving. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
1. I prefer to use little water instead of using large amount of olive oil.
2. Serve this spicy hummus with celery, cucumber and bell pepper strips for those in South beach diet. This is an ideal snack for women with gestational diabetes. For other, serve these spicy good hummus with grilled bread/baguette.
3. You could also add roasted sesame seeds instead of tahini.