Sunday, November 9, 2008

Recipe: Red Pepper Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles

After seeing dried garbanzo beans at the grocery store, and impulsively buying them, I had wanted to make hummus. See, here in Chile, it is quite rare to find hummus. You will not find it in the grocery store and I have only seen it in one vegetarian restaurant. I, of course, ordered it the last time I went to that restaurant, and was somewhat disappointed with the lack of flavor. It seems they only mashed up the garbanzo beans and forgot to put in any flavors. So when I was looking for recipes to try my hand at making hummus (for the first time), I knew I wanted one with lots and lots of flavor. I turned to my trusty friend, FoodNetwork, and found Red Pepper Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles recipe. I had to add a bit to the recipe for the fact that you can’t buy canned chickpeas and I didn’t know where to get tahini, but other than that it was pretty easy to make this recipe in Chile!

Red Pepper Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles (edited for life in Chile)

4 whole-wheat pita pockets, cut into triangles
Cooking spray
Garlic salt
1 cup dried chickpeas (ie. garbanzo beans)
1 cup sauteed red peppers
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste, recipe included below)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (I personally didn’t use this.)

The day before you want to make the hummus, make sure to put 1 cup of dried chickpeas in LOTS of water to soak overnight. After around 8 hours of soaking, boil them until tender. The more tender they are, the easier it will be to blend them.

To make the tahini, you need 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (I used olive oil), 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup tepid water. I would perhaps double or triple this recipe because it was hard to blend this all together in the 1-2-3 since it was a small amount. First, toast the sesame seeds until golden brown. Let cool off.

You need to put the sesame seeds in a blender or food processor and grind until smooth.

Then add the oil and salt. Process until combined. Add the water very slowly, with the motor running if possible, and blend until smooth. If you can’t add the water with the motor running, just add bits at a time and keep processing until smooth. Mine turned out a bit runny and not as much of a “paste”, but really, it is the flavor that is important here. One interesting thing that I learned about sesame seeds is that they turn rancid quickly so it is important to store them away from light & heat. According to one website that I found, putting your sesame seeds in the fridge will allow them to stay good for up to 3 months. Now that you have your tahini, here is the rest of the hummus recipe:

Cut up and sauté the red peppers in a pan. It is not necessary to put oil or spray or anything, just sauté them up for a bit. Rinse the chickpeas and mix with the red peppers, tahini, garlic, cumin, and lemon juice in a bowl. Place a portion of the mix in a 1-2-3 (the original recipe said blender, but the blenders in Chile are weak and don’t work that well—I found that although the 1-2-3 works much better even though you have to blend a little bit at a time). Blend until smooth, remove the mixture and put in a separate bowl. Continue with the mix until all has been processed. Mix the hummus together to make sure all the flavors and ingredients are distributed evenly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and top with parsley, if using it. The hummus turns this beautiful, bright orange color thanks to the red peppers.

To make the pita triangles, preheat the oven or electric oven to 400 degrees F. Cut up the pita bread into triangles and place on the baking sheet that corresponds to your oven (I used our electric oven and it worked like a charm). Spray the surface of the triangles with cooking spray. Season the tops with garlic salt. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

Yay! Now you’re ready to eat your hummus and homemade pita chips!


lydia said...

awesome. i love hummus.

jumbo (valpo at least) sells tahini, its in the section with curry pastes and other bottled flavory things that i would assume chileans dont often buy. its actualy frequently sold out though.

someone was telling me about an arab(ish. who knows if theyre pinpointing that right, but middle east at least) restaurant that sounded like it wouldve been right where your host family was, that serves hummus. ill investigate soon.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy. I made hummus all the time in Chile-- It is one of S's favorite foods (well at least it is since I introduced him to it). Instead of tahini, you can increase the cumin, add plain yogurt (not the sweet kind), and if you want a nutty flavor a couple drops of peanut oil or a bit of peanut butter do the trick. Honestly though, since i never made planed hummus and always had extra garlic or lemon dill or something, the nut taste wasn't even missed.

nyGRINGAinCHILE said...

Bravo!!! I make hummus all the time and have been promising to bring it to a Chilespouse event for the longest time. Hints: I never let my beans boil, just keep them at a low heat for a while until they cook through. also, longer you soak the beans, less gas producing (gross i know, but i figured i'd share the info) ...i have added lime juice to hummus many times and cayenne pepper is good as well... also varying levels of cumin... i've also just used fresh red peppers (too lazy to sautee) to blend in...

as for tahini - you can find it at either of the 2 jumbos on bilbao, at the lider express on tobalaba and at tottus. i use much less tahini than what you used - lower fat and CHEAPER!!! (Tahini here runs over 3 lukas a can)also the only place iv'e found hummus was in tottus - the one at parque was in a can and very lemony and nearly 3 lukas- RIP OFF

oh finally, for your other readers out there who are in Chile i'd say to use the garbanzos SIN PIEL.

Keep posting recipes!!! I love to cook!!!

I'm currently trying to learn how to make Ethiopian food so that i can help cook for my friend Amanda's soon-to-arrive adopted child from Ethiopia (coming to live here with her and her hubby) so lemme konw if you know anyone who can help me out!!!!

lydia said...

hahaha. so this post kinda reminded me that i hadnt made hummus in a while and my mom has sent me a million recipes.

I made one and it turned out pretty well and

my gosh chileans can be aggrivating

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.