Do you like hummus? We surely do! The husband and I love experimenting with different flavours of hummus, trying it out with different foods. Chaat Masala Hummus is the latest in this line of experiments, something both of us absolutely loved.
What is hummus?
Originating in the Middle East, hummus refers to a savoury dip or spread made using cooked chickpeas. Chickpeas are first soaked, then cooked and ground to a paste along with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and tahini (soaked sesame seeds ground to a paste).
Today, hummus is hugely popular not just in the Middle East, but in most parts of the world, India included. Hummus is typically served as an accompaniment to falafel or as part of a Lebanese platter or Mediterranean Buddha bowl. It can also be used as a dip for nachos, crackers, chips or lavash. Some also use it as a spread for sandwiches or pita bread. We love having it with piping hot plain parathas as well!
Is hummus nutritious?
You bet! Hummus is full of protein and other goodness, from the chickpeas that are its major component. Good-quality olive oil and sesame seeds go into it, too, which have several nutrients as well.
Hummus is low in glycemic index (GI), and high in fibre, iron, folate, magnesium and phosphorus, heart-healthy fats and B vitamins. It is naturally plant-based, gluten-free, and free of nuts and dairy products.
The many flavours of hummus
Outlined above is the most basic version of hummus, to which several variations are possible. Roasted beetroot, avocado, roasted bell pepper, garlic, basil, sweet potato, mint, spinach, green peas and carrot are examples of the many flavours that one can add to hummus. And then, there are many wacky twists that have been given to the regular hummus – chocolate, Sriracha, tandoori, blue cheese, sun-dried tomato, Indian curry and caramelised onion, to cite a few samples. Of course, my Chaat Masala Hummus is one wacky thing too! 🙂
Chaat Masala Hummus for Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This week, the members of the Foodie Monday Blog Hop have decided to showcase different flavours of hummus on their blogs. Kalyani, the talented blogger at Sizzling Tastebuds, suggested the theme #HummusTime, and all the others heartily agreed – hummus is so versatile, the sky is the limit, after all!
I love the flavours of Indian chaat, and decided to put them into hummus for the theme. The result was this beautiful, delicious thing that everyone at home loved at first bite.
Btw, you should definitely check out Kalyani’s blog, a rich repository of dishes from around the world. Heritage Tamilnadu dishes, healthy bakes and various kid-friendly snacks find pride of place on her blog. Her recipe for vegetable stock made using odds and ends from the kitchen is something I have been meaning to try out. Her Andhra Pradesh-style Bitter Gourd Podi, Cabbage Sattu Cutlet and Apple Soup have been on my list of must-try recipes too.
How to make Chaat Masala Hummus
The recipe for Chaat Masala Hummus follows.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas aka kabuli chana
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil + some more for drizzling on top
- 1 teaspoon coarse roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black salt
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- Regular salt to taste (optional)
- 2 medium-spicy green chillies
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1. Soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover them, for 8-10 hours or overnight.
2. When the chickpeas are done soaking, drain out all the water from them and discard it. Transfer the drained chickpeas to a wide vessel, and add in enough fresh water to cover them fully. Place the vessel inside a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or till the chickpeas are well cooked.
3. Drain out all the water from the cooked chickpeas and reserve it for later use. Let the cooked chickpeas cool down fully.
4. Meanwhile, dry roast the sesame seeds on medium flame till they start turning brown and popping. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted sesame to a plate, and allow to cool down fully.
5. Peel the garlic cloves. Remove the tops from the green chillies and chop them roughly. Keep ready.
6. When the chickpeas have completely cooled down, transfer them to a mixer jar. Add in the roasted sesame, peeled garlic cloves, chopped green chillies, 1/4 cup olive oil, coarsely crushed cumin, black salt, chaat masala and regular salt (if using). Grind together, as smooth or coarse as you desire. You may add in a couple of tablespoons of water, if you find the grinding difficult.
7. Mix in the lemon juice, then transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
8. Drizzle some olive oil over the hummus. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander. Your Chaat Masala Hummus is now ready to serve.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use fresh soft water to soak the chickpeas, for best results.
2. This hummus recipe does not use tahini. Instead, it uses dry-roasted sesame seeds. You could use tahini as well.
3. I have used brown sesame seeds here.
4. Use very good-quality olive oil, for best results. I use a gorgeous local brand that the husband brought home from a work trip to Israel.
5. Adjust the quantities of salt, black salt, green chillies, lemon, cumin powder and chaat masala as per personal taste preferences.
6. Make sure the chickpeas are well cooked, before proceeding to make the hummus. You should be able to mash the cooked chickpeas fully between your fingers. Do a test with a couple of the cooked chickpeas before you start making the hummus. If there is still a give to them, you should pressure cook them a little more.
7. I have not peeled the cooked chickpeas. Some people do, for a silken hummus. I usually don’t peel the cooked chickpeas, but still get a soft-textured hummus. You may peel them, if you so prefer.
8. Reserve the water from cooking the chickpeas. Do not discard it. This water is full of nutrients, and can be used in making soup, dal, rasam, gravy-based curries, etc.
9. Let the cooked chickpeas cool down completely, before you start making the hummus.
10. Since you are adding black salt and chaat masala (which includes salt) to the hummus, you can skip the regular salt. However, if you desire, you can add some in.
11. I have used store-bought chaat masala here. You can use any brand you prefer, or make the chaat masala at home yourself.
12. You can add in a couple of tablespoons of the water reserved from cooking the chickpeas, while grinding the hummus.
13. You can keep the hummus as smooth or chunky as you prefer. I prefer keeping the texture smooth.
14. This hummus is best used fresh, made just prior to serving. However, it can be made in advance and stored in a clean, dry, air-tight box, refrigerated, for 2-3 days. Make sure you drizzle the olive oil on top and garnish with fresh coriander just before serving.
15. To make roasted cumin powder – Take a couple of tablespoons of cumin and dry roast them in a heavy-bottomed pan till fragrant, taking care to ensure that it does not burn. Allow it to cool down fully and then coarsely crush in a small mixer jar. Store in a dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed.
16. If you are using store-bought chaat masala, do check on the ingredients list to double check whether it is free of nuts and dairy products, gluten-free and plant-based.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!