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Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.

Ingredients for the hummus....

Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..

Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..! 

Ingredients: (Serves 3)         Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients for the hummus....
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste

Method:
Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!

Garnishing:
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

 

 


Tahini… the nutty Middle Eastern dip/condiment.. !

Tahini/Tahina...

Tahini..

As most of you would know Tahini is widely used in Turkish, Greek and Middle eastern cuisines. Tahini is paste made of ground sesame seeds, which is served on its own as it as or it can used to make loads of other yummy dishes like – Hummus, Baba Ghanoush etc. Tahini is also known as Tahina is some regions.

Hummus always keeps playing on my mind.. but to make a good bowl of Hummus I can’t do without some Tahini. I finally got down to making some Tahini. As you know from my previous post I’m trying to eat healthy, exercise & get back into shape & lose those extra kilo’s from my vacation in Mumbai. Mumbai is truly a foodies paradise for sure..! Been filling myself up with Salads, boiled veggies, sprouts etc. A perfect dish at this time would be none other than a bowl of hummus with some crudités’. I will post the a yummy & fresh flavoured – lemon & coriander hummus soon, so as you have a recipe at hand once you make the Tahini. 🙂

Tahini..

Tahini has an awesome nutty flavour… While I made tahini, K got to work & added some powdered sugar to the food processor jar & licked the rest of the paste sticking to the jar. That made me think that tahini with some sugar would surely taste good with some bread just like peanut butter :D.

Tahini..

This is a no jazz recipe. You need to lightly toast the white sesame seeds so that the heavenly aroma of these seeds come out. Toasting can be done in an oven or simply on a skillet on the stove, grind the seeds with some extra virgin olive oil & salt to a paste. Consistency is totally up to you. Some like it thick & some like it a little runny. Add more olive oil if you want it a little more runny. Our goal is to make a thick yet pourable paste.

Ingredients: Makes about 4-5 tbsp of Tahini             Preparation Time: 15/25 mins
White sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Ingredients..

Method:
Oven Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degree C. Spread the sesame seeds evenly on a baking tray. Toast the seeds for 5 minutes & then take the tray out & re spread them so that they toast even. Return to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Take out the tray, cool the seeds & blend in a food processor along with olive oil & some salt to taste.

Skillet method:
Heat a skillet on low heat. Add the sesame seeds & toast the seeds by constantly tossing them around so that they don’t burn for 5 – 6 minutes. I wanted a rich nutty flavour. So I toasted them for about 8 minutes. Hence my tahini looks a darker brown in colour compared to the usual light coloured tahini.
Yes, that is it.. your done. 🙂

Serving Suggestions:

Tahini/Tahina...
Now, go ahead spread it on a slice of bread with some honey, sugar or use it as a savoury dip by mixing some lemon juice, crushed garlic & some herbs. Or make some Hummus just like I did & dug some crudités into it.. 😀

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –


Homemade Olive Lemon Salad dressing…

Homemade Olive Lemon Salad dressing...

Julia from Kitchenettefinds had posted a salad dressing recipe a while back. The way she had described the dressing was too tempting. Being a huge fan of salads I wanted to try it out. Link to the original recipe. I made a few changes to her recipe though… I gave up the cheese she added & added honey & a garlic clove..

Homemade Olive Lemon Salad dressing...

I tried this variation because lately, I been eating a lot of fatty food.. As I have mentioned earlier.. I’m hooked on to junk food.. or should I say I was hooked on.. that is more appropriate I suppose…. as my junk food intake has drastically reduced now, when I was much younger.. I used to thrive on junk food literally..! A packet of Chakkli’s (South Indian savoury snack) in one hand.. the TV remote or a novel in the other hand.. Chakkli’s used to just vanish in about 20 mins after opening a packet..  & mind you, a packet easily had 20 chakkli’s. We use a lot of stainless steel containers to store snacks at home.. So, later on, during tea time if mum opened the container to eat one or two of those chakkli’s; she would end up opening almost 7-8 containers looking for them.. 😉 & then finally she would come ask me.. :D, after a while she stopped asking me.. because she knew  they were long digested in my tummy… 😛

You would not believe that I have managed to get my father-in-law hooked to potato crisps too..Yes, another favourite !! All this story just to mention that I have turned to healthier snacking options..like salads, couscous, fruits etc. A big No, no to crisps/potato wafers or any kind of deep-fried food. Having said this, I still eat these at moderation.. at times though..

Ingredients: (Serves 4-5)       Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Black olives – 7-8, pitted
Lemon – 1, juice squeezed out
Garlic Clove – 1, peeled
Honey – 1 tsp
Dijon Mustard – 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns (optional) – freshly crushed to sprinkle or use a pepper grinder once you prepare the salad
Salt to taste

Method:
In a blender jar, combine & blend the olive, mustard, lemon juice, garlic clove & honey. Do not add any water. Once the ingredients blend well into a smooth paste as shown, transfer them to a small bowl. Add salt to taste.

Homemade Olive Lemon Salad dressing...

Mix the salad dressing with your favourite greens, tomatoes, onions, shredded carrot, croutons or if you want to indulge a bit, add some mozzarella cubes too. Sprinkle some crushed black pepper to add some spice..!!

I made myself a salad using some different lettuce varieties, cherry tomatoes & red onions.

Homemade Olive Lemon Salad dressing...

Enjoy..! Any left over dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for a week.

If you liked this, you should check out other salad recipe’s –

Broccoli & Bacon Salad..,

Fried Halloumi Pasta Salad,

SSS (Simple Salad Sticks),

Pasta Mayo Salad,

Carrot Kismoori/ Konkani style tempered Crunchy Carrot Salad.. etc.


Tzatziki

Tzatziki...

This is for those who love Yogurt dips or fillers for wraps or salads. Tzatziki is a Greek or Turkish meze used as a sauce for Souvlaki or gyros.

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is made from thick strained yogurt, mixed with cucumbers, salt, garlic, olive oil along with some lemon juice mixed with some dill/parsley/mint. Tzatziki is always served cold.

Tzatziki

When I had first tasted tzatziki it had dill in it. In the recipe I will be posting today, I used mint. Also I used Greek set yogurt & added a pinch of crushed black pepper. Instead of lemon juice I used some red wine vinegar.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)       Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cucumber – Half portion of a medium-sized cucumber, peeled & de-seeded
Greek yogurt/ any thick-set/ strained yogurt – 250 ml
Red Wine Vinegar – 1.5 tsp
Garlic clove – 1, minced
Black peppercorns – A pinch, freshly ground
Extra virgin Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 7-8, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Grate the cucumber and squeeze out any extra water out of it using your hand. Throw the water away. This is to prevent the tzatziki from getting watery as time passes by.

Take a big bowl, empty the yogurt, mixed garlic, red wine vinegar, grated cucumber,chopped mint, olive oil, ground black pepper, salt to taste. Mix well. Adjust salt if required.

Chill this in the fridge for sometime before you serve.

Mint Tzatziki...

Serving suggestions:
Serve along with some Pita bread or Souvlaki or gyros. For the Souvlaki recipe check – Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki.

Tzatziki with some Souvlaki...

Will taste good with any mediterranean starter.

If you liked this recipe, you may also like other dips like – Chunky Guacamole…Teekha Meeta Yogurt dipGreen Chutney/Mint Coriander chutney/DipTangy Chickpeas dip etc. 

 


Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki

Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki

The Christmas market this time was bigger than the previous ones. There was a Greek food stall too this time, & the whiff of pork, chicken was so inviting that I had to try it. Imagine some marinated pork grilled to perfection, mixed with some freshly chopped veggies, all wrapped in a pita bread with some Tzatziki (A Greek yogurt dip) with some fries on the side 🙂 Yes, I think you getting the picture. 😀

Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki

How can you not fall in love with something as yummy as this. But sadly I did not find time to try the chicken version of it. This has been on my list to try out from christmas time. I looked up the recipe from the website – http://www.seriouseats.com & decided to try it out today.

It’s exotic, I bet everyone who loves grilled meat will crave for more instantly. So make sure you marinate some extra meat to satisfy this craving. 😉

I’m glad it turned out very close to the one I had in the christmas market & do not have to hunt for a Greek restaurant or wait for the christmas market to eat this again.

Originally has to be grilled on charcoal. As it is not summertime here and I cannot have a barbecue I decided to try this out on the grill mode of the oven. Also tzatziki is made with dill but I used some mint instead of dill just for some twist.

Been meaning to prepare this since morning for lunch, but got busy with the unpacking and hence moved this for dinner. Oh yes, I got my V-day gift day-before. 😀 it was the 50mm lens I so wanted from a long time. These pics have been clicked using that lens.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)          Preparation Time: 25 mins (Marination time not included)
Pork – 500 gms trimmed off the fat and only meat, without any bones. I used pork belly trims.
Olive oil – 1/2 cup
Red onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped, I did not have red onion hence used white onions
Garlic cloves – 2, minced
Fresh lemon juice – 4 tbsp
Red wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
Greek oregano – 2 tbsp , I used normal Italian oregano as I could not find Greek oregano
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp, freshly ground
Pita bread with pockets – 4
Lemon (optional) – a few wedges
Salt to taste

For the salad:
Salad Tomatoes – 2 medium-sized, cut into small cubes
Onion – 1 medium-sized, diced finely
Red Pepper – 1 small-sized, cut into small pieces
Lettuce – 4-5 leaves

For the tzatziki:
Yogurt – 250 ml thick yogurt or greek set yogurt
Cucumber – 1/2 of a medium-sized cucumber, peeled & de-seeded, grated
Mint leaves – 6-7 leaves, finely chopped
Garlic clove – 1, minced
Red wine vinegar – 1.5 tsp
Black peppercorns – a pinch, freshly ground
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Note: If you are using wooden skewers then soak them in water for at least 30 mins before you use them. I used steel skewers.

Method:
Mix olive oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano and black peppercorns & salt together in a bowl.

Marinade

Keep this aside. This is for the pork marination.

Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes. Wash the pieces and drain off the water. Add the pieces into a zip-lock bag. Pour the marinade prepared into the bag and seal the bag. Shake the bag well so that the marinade coats all the pieces well. Open the bag & remove the excess air out & re-seal the bag.

Marinated pork

Fridge the meat and let it marinate at least for 2 hours – overnight. I marinated for 24 hrs.

Pre-heat your oven in the grill mode at 200 degrees Celsius. Add the pork pieces to skewers and keep them ready.

Insert the marinated pork pieces into the skewers...

Grill the pork for 20 minutes, turn them midway so that they grill evenly.

Grilled pork...

Meanwhile prepare the tzatziki. Squeeze out the water from the grated cucumber with your hand and throw the water away. Add the cucumber, the yogurt, salt, black pepper,minced garlic, olive oil, chopped mint & red wine vinegar and mix it well.

Tzatziki

You can chill the tzatziki in the fridge for a while. Chilled tzatziki tastes yummy. 🙂 You can have it just like that as well.

Serving Suggestions:
Open the pockets of the pita bread and lightly toast or heat them.

Spread a spoon of tzatziki on the inside of the toasted pita bread… Now add about 6-8 cubes of grilled pork from the skewers over the tzatziki. Next add the salad. Add some more tzatziki if required. Close & wrap the pita bread and enjoy. 🙂

Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki
You may also add a few fries in the wrap or serve some on the side. Serve with some lime wedges if you want some extra lemon. Since I marinated the pork really well for around 24 hrs I did not require extra lemon juice, the lemon juice used in the marinade was well absorbed by the meat.

If you like grilled food then you may also like – Mix-veg skewers with a Yogurt dip, Hot Honey Chicken Wings.