Friday, May 20, 2011

Hummus & Baba Ganoush

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Okay. Today Blogger really did it! I know everyone faced issues when Blogger went down for maintenance, but this is something that is even more annoying. I finished typing a whole new post, I formatted it, and wanted to change something. After typing a couple of words, I decided not to use that, and deleted it. But the whole text of the post got deleted somehow. I knew that I just needed to use Ctrl+Z to bring back my post, but before I got to it, Blogger’s annoying Auto-save kicked in and saved my blank post! And I lost all my work. Grrrrr... Does anyone know how to turn off auto-save or at least change the time setting? I can’t seem to find the setting anywhere. This just makes me want to join the hoardes migrating to Wordpress even more. Ok, now that I have vented, I will get back to my post. I hope I remember all that I wanted to say.

This is part two of my post on our Lebanese meal. I have already shared with you my recipes for the Pita Bread and Chicken Kebabs. Now, I share with you my two dips. The Hummus and the Baba Ganoush.

I cannot tell you how much I love Hummus. You may have noticed that I say that about a lot of foods. I like foods in general. But this really is one of my favourite things to eat. In my opinion, hummus goes with a lot of things Рpita bread, sliced baguette, crudit̩s or even crispy nachos. Yes. Nachos. I like to mix things up and I enjoy every bite. I have made it several times before, and each time I very pleased with the outcome.

Hummus has a few standard ingredients, but I am sharing with you the proportions I like. I like to taste the creaminess of the chickpeas, the peppery taste of the extra virgin olive oil, the sharp notes from the lime, the heady aroma & flavors from the garlic and cumin and the nuttiness of the sesame tahini. I think it is a perfectly balanced dish and tastes incredible. Even my eighteen month old thought so. (Oh have I mentioned that she has now mastered counting up to 10? She started at 17 months, and is now a pro at it. I am such a proud mama!)

I suppose the easiest way to make the hummus is to use canned chick peas. That is a luxury that is not available to us here. So, I buy dried chickpeas and soak them overnight. Then, I discard the soaking liquid, add fresh water and salt and pressure cook it for about 20 minutes. Whether you use canned chickpeas or dried ones, make sure you reserve some of the cooking/canning liquid for the recipe.

2 cups cooked chickpeas
5-6 cloves of garlic (medium size)
1/4 cup tahini
7 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp of the cooking/canning liquid
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika to serve


1. In a blender, combine half the chickpeas, 5 cloves of garlic, the tahini, 5 tbsp of lemon juice, the olive oil, the cooking liquid, cumin powder, zest and the salt.
2. Blend until smooth and silky. Add the remaining chickpeas and continue blending till you achieve the texture you like. The hummus should be a thick, smooth paste and not lumpy and dry. Add more cooking liquid if your paste is too thick.
3. Taste the hummus and adjust the levels of garlic, salt and lemon juice to taste.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

The second dip that we ate with that delicious meal was Baba Ganoush. I have eaten it a few times at a local restaurant, but this was my first time making it. I was very pleased with the result.

Baba Ganoush

1 large eggplant                       

1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp (or more) lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt       
A pinch of cumin powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


1. Roast the eggplant directly on the stove-top (over the direct flame), turning it frequently until the skin has blackened and starts to split, and the flesh has started to soften.
2. Transfer the eggplant to a greased baking tray and bake at 200 for 20-25 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and cooked though.
3. Take the eggplant out of the oven and drop it in a bowl of cold water. After 2-3 minutes, remove the eggplant from the water and peel off the skin and discard it. Chop the flesh roughly and transfer to a blender jar.
4. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, olive oil and blend until smooth and silky. Taste the baba ganoush and adjust salt and lemon juice.
5. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more cilantro.

It has several of the ingredients used in the hummus, but tastes very different. It was also really delicious, and had a lovely smoky flavour and the wonderful taste of cilantro. The flavours of the pita, kebabs, hummus and baba ganoush really complement each other.

The whole meal required quite a bit of planning and prepping, but in the end, it was a meal to remember. I really enjoyed making and sharing it with my little family.

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Kristen said...

Aw, I am sorry you lost your post. That is so frustrating.

I am definitely going to have to try baba ganoush. I have never made that at home and your version sounds delish!

Frugal Antics said...

 Whoa, your comment format just changed before my eyes.  I don't know if my last comment is lost or if two will show up.  Anyway...I have gotta try that baba ganoush!

Kate said...

I've never make either of these before...I totally should!  What a wonderful idea.   I've never been huge on hummus, but that's only because I never make it.  Thanks for inspiring me to try something new. don't have canned chickpeas?  Bummer! 

Ling said...

 Great hummus recipe! I will have to try it out and make a roast pepper hummus dip. Baba Ganoush is such a funny sounding name 

theharriedcook said...

I got an email notification for that last comment, but it doesn't show up on the blog... Sigh. I think it's time to move out of Blogger. I hated the commenting system on Blogger and so I installed Disqus for comments. So when the page loads, first the old Blogger comment format shows and then it changes to Disqus. It should happen within seconds. I don't know why it took so long that you were actually able to comment before it changed! Very strange. Sorry about that... Yes! The baba ganoush was certainly very good! Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

To be honest, I have never  missed canned chickpeas. I remember finding a can in a store a few years ago, and it wasn't as nice as the making it from the dried peas :) I cannot believe you are not very fond of hummus! As you said, maybe if you make it at home, you will fall in love with it as I have :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

LOL :D I have always thought so too. I have friends who can't say the name without giggling. I'm past that phase now :) Roast pepper hummus sounds lovely! :) Thank you for stopping by!

Rosemary Wolbert said...

Using dried chick peas makes hummus much, much better, although having a can of them in the pantry is comforting.  But I've never tried baba ganoush.  Gotta do it! 

Mary@One Pertfect Bite said...

I can't help with blogger but sometimes data can be retrieved from history. I really like your recipe for hummus. It's been awhile since I've made it and I'm always open to new versions. Yours sounds delicious. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Mary@One Perfect Bite said...

Every cook should have recipes for these dips in her arsenal. Yours look and sound delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Rosaria said...

 So glad I stopped here from Marguerite's. I love both of these dips, but it has been a long time since I made them.

Briarrose said...

 Talk about being burned by the auto save there...oiy.  I would have been steamed too.

I've made hummus many times....awesome snack/dip....but I really need to try baba ganoush.  

Amanda-Eatinginwinnipeg said...

Happy weekend! Don't forget to come over and share a recipe at Savory Sunday!!

Gourmantine said...

Unfortunately, can't advise you on blogger issues, but I always write draft post in word and only do final editing online, that way of something happens I always have it somewhere! Lovely two dips by the way :)

The Harried Cook said...

You're so right, Rosemary! The dried chick peas are so much nicer. You should give baba ganoush a shot! It is delicious... Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

I tried several things to get my post back, but nothing worked :( Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Mary! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too! :) 

theharriedcook said...

Thanks again, Mary! :)  

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Rosaria! :) These dips are favorites of mine too... Thanks for stopping by! 

theharriedcook said...

Yes, I was pretty annoyed. But I'm over it now :) Another hummus lover! Great :) Baba Ganoush is great too... :) Thanks for stopping by! 

theharriedcook said...

You know, I just started doing that. I guess I needed to be burned once before I learned my lesson :) Since this post (the second time), I have started writing my post in Word. Thanks for stopping by & for your thoughtful comment :) 

Manu said...

 Hummus is my favorite dip too!!!  I could eat it non stop!  I make it at home too, but I have never ever made baba ganoush!  I am definitely going to try making it (I love baba ganoush too!)!!!!  YUMMMM!

Pudding Pie Lane said...

 Blogger is SOOO annoying with the formatting sometimes, and yeah it deleted loads of my comments at one point too :( If you have a windows you can use windows live writer to write your posts and upload them :) If you have a mac you're in the deep...
I love your hummous recipe by the way! So much (well, including your other posts too!) that I've given you an award (or three...) :)

theharriedcook said...

 Isn't hummus awesome? :) I am planning to make another batch. And it's so healthy too! :) Yes, you should make the baba ganoush, for sure... Thanks for stopping by! :)

theharriedcook said...

Xinmei! You have made me very, very, very happy by giving me my first awards! :) Thank you!!! Thanks for stopping by and for the tip about windows live writer. I am going to look into that right now! :)  

scpookiequeen said...

Have never attempted this, but I do love hummus.  So sweet your little girls is counting already.  Sorry wish I knew the answer to your tech question.  I'm not so good at that stuff.  Hope you have a great weekend.

theharriedcook said...

I hope you have a great weekend too...

theharriedcook said...

I have had some good suggestions for the tech question, and I think I can work something out now. Thanks, Gina. She says most of the alphabet too. You can bet i'm very proud :) Hope you had a great weekend too! 

Gitusabu said...

They both look great! So authentic. Can I buy a jar of your hummus? :D

theharriedcook said...

For you? Of course! You don't have to buy it. I will give it to you the next time you visit :) 

Emilia said...

Wow, great combination of recipes - two of my favorite dips ever, I am the biggest sucker for chickpeas and eggplants. Can't wait to try your recipes, they look soooooooo yummy .

Nami said...

Sorry for my late comment here...but looks like Blogger is having so much issue (I'm not using it but I can feel the anger from people...).  Hummus is my favorite dip for bread and veggies.... I just think it's the best dip.  I really don't know why Hummus is not popular in Japan because all the Japanese people living in the US love this.  I didn't grow up with Hummus and I feel like I missed out so much.

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Emilia! :) I am so glad you like them :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Hummus has become popular here in India only for the last 10 years or so. So I didn't grow up with it either. So, I know how you feel about missing out :) Thanks for stopping by!

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