Roti and Hummus: Two Ways

On Plate: Left: Tamarind Hummus, Right: Red Lentil Hummus; with roti
And of course a nice selection of crudités!

When it’s too hot to spend copious amounts of time at the stove, my go to has always been hummus. I always have some form of a hummus dip/spread on the go, and this platter was no exception! I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of two different styles of hummus with two different beans. I made a chickpea based hummus flavoured with tamarind and tahini, in the style of the Arabian Gulf, as well as a red lentil hummus flavoured with tahini and lemon, a flavour combination most associate with hummus. This also gave me the perfect excuse to try my hand at making Rotis. The result of this taste test was a satisfied tummy, delicious hummus spreads, and the knowledge that I have mastered the skill set required for rotis and can make them in less than 30min!

*Note* The hummus recipes that follow are the ones pictured above. I follow a standard formula for all hummus attempts, and season on whim as I go. Beans I have used range from lentils, black beans, black eyed peas, navy beans, fava beans, and of course chick peas. I also make hummus without any oil, so if you prefer add 1 tsp. – 2 tbsp. of olive oil to any hummus recipe. Successful flavour combinations include: “Southwest Hummus” made with black beans, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, and chili powder; “Curry Hummus” made with curry powder, cumin, coriander, and a dash of turmeric and cayenne; “Fresh Hummus” with roasted bell peppers, fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, and lemon; and the lower fat varieties with pureed cauliflower or mashed sweet potato for bulk (delicious!).  These are not by any means the end of the combinations, so if interested I could post a hummus ‘primer’ for those out there!

Roti

Roti are one of those flatbreads that are all-purpose and appropriate for anything you could imagine. Of course there is the traditional use of a utensil in your daal/curry creation, but I have also made Roti PB&J sandwiches, roti chips, roti pizzas … I was scared off of making my own roti when I accidently set my oven on fire making chapati’s (roti’s cousin) a couple of years ago. But when the craving hit this time I was called to the kitchen – albeit with trepidation. I needn’t have worried! Rotis are super easy to make, and even easier to cook. All you need is a standard skillet, and you are ready for business. Just like cooking a 30s. pancake, you will have delicious roti’s faster than it’ll take for you to cut vegetables!

I used the following recipe: Roti/Chapati.  Initially I did have problems rolling out the roti’s to the desired thinness, which is why the ones above are such interesting shapes. However, on my last roti I decided to try and roll the dough out sandwiched between two pieces of parchment paper. Worked like a charm! To save on mess and frustration, I strongly recommend doing this, or using thick plastic wrap when making flatbreads like roti, pita, and na’an. My confidence in my flatbread making abilities has skyrocketed so much that I am thinking I may be ready to tackle gobhi parathas (cauliflower stuffed flatbread)!

 Red Lentil Hummus

Using red lentils in hummus makes a delightfully creamy spread. The picture of the hummus above is a bit runny because I forgot to adjust my liquid ratios with the bean – chickpeas require more liquid to puree than red lentils. The spread did thicken nicely in the fridge, but next time I will endeavour to take into consideration the type of bean used! As it was this hummus made for delicious dips and spreads in wraps. I used my standard flavour profile for this hummus, which works for any type of bean: chick pea, lentil, black bean, navy bean … my food processor has not met a bean it does not like! The base recipe is below, however with this standard hummus I encourage you to play with the spices, ratios, and flavours! Taste, add, blend, and taste again – that’s the secret to perfect hummus!

Red Lentil Hummus

1½ cups cooked red lentils
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. tahini
1½ tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. ground cumin
⅛ tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) In food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Taste for seasonings; adjust as necessary
2) Place in storage container and chill in fridge at least 1h prior to serving to allow flavours to meld. Tastes even better the next day!

 Tamarind Hummus

This was a new experiment for me. My tamarind paste lives beside my (store bought, and thus little used) red Thai Curry paste (Thai Curry Hummus? Experiment for the next batch!) and I wanted to use it. Tamarind gives a distinctive flavour to a variety of dishes; from pad thai to chilis to Middle Eastern tagines and couscous pilafs. Tamarind itself is a pod-like fruit that looks a bit like a broad bean and tastes almost a tangy lime molasses in concentrated form. It can also be found as a brick of compressed pulp from the fruit, which when chopped tastes fantastic in chilis. You can make your own concentrate from the pulp, but I usually buy a small jar at an Asian, Middle Eastern, or Indian grocery. A little goes a long way, so that small jar will last a very long time! Added to hummus and it creates a completely different flavour profile than the standard recipe above – one that is tangy and tahini like at the same time and completely addicting.

 

The recipe I used for this first attempt came from the cookbook Classic Vegetarian Cooking From the Middle East and North Africa, by Habeeb Salloom. The recipe is also posted here: Chickpea and Tamarind Dip (Hummus Bi Tamar Hindi). Enjoy!

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