Original Hummus

It’s the king of dip. Yes, you heard that right, in both taste and versatility. It’s a healthy companion for your chips or veggies. Full of fiber and chickpeas goodness, it’s our must haves on any given days. What do you need for a good hummus anyway, couple ingredients and the recipe, whoa, done. I guess that’s not enough, if you read my post you will know it all. It’s a journey to the perfection, very interesting findings on the way here. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

After literally going through tubs of these, creamy, classic, flavored, organic, you name it and we had them all, finally I decided to make it at home. The trigger was jalapeno cilantro hummus from Trader Joe’s and our longing for it, smile. I am not against store-bought food items, I like some of these myself, it’s just that sometimes it makes me think; will it be better if its homemade and knowing what goes in to it, freshest of ingredients used, the answer comes down to little extra efforts and lots of satisfaction.

Hummus with Mediterranean flat bread & Meze Labne

This recipe is adopted and modified version of two best recipes available, smitten kitchen’s ethereally smooth hummus and best hummus recipe by humus101. I can taste the deliciousness of your hummus from your photographs, its looks that good Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. You eexplained well going extra mile in removing the chickpeas skin to get utterly smooth hummus. I can see that through the photographs. I even love the idea of making peace with the technique in pealing the chickpeas and daydreaming. Still, I just couldn’t do it and went on and used skin intact but well cooked (Read not over cooked) chickpeas for my classic hummus. And let me admit this, hands down, peel the chickpeas if you want smooth, buttery hummus, period. If you don’t mind it being just a tad bit grainy go right ahead and use it with the skin on and save yourself sometime.

Another step in making good hummus explained by Shooky Galili, “The Hummus Guy” from humus101 blog, a journalist and blogger from Israel and technique tested in my kitchen; don’t skimp on home cooked chickpeas over convenience of canned. Check out details, it is very informative and affirmative blog. I have tried making hummus with both kind of chickpeas, canned and dry and definitely taste the difference between two and you guessed it right it was enough difference for me that I choose to become a dry chickpeas advocate. All I did was soak my chickpeas night before and pressures cook it next morning while I was preparing my tea. Well, technically I did not use any extra time out of my over scheduled day if you are thinking about the extra time that goes in doing it from scratch.

Blender friendly Hummus recipe

You can even cook extra cup of chickpeas and use it to prepare Chole (famous Indian chickpeas curry) or toss it over salad as added bonus. Speaking of Chole, I have a perfect semi-homemade 10 minute cooking recipe but that I will share sometime later.

For now let’s stick to the Smooth and Creamy Original Hummus recipe and explore the world of chickpeas

Original Hummus

Dip in to Creamy, Dreamy chickpeas goodness

Prep      |     Cook      |   Total Time

15 min           15min            30min

Allow time to soak dry chickpeas for 10-12 hours

Plus allow 1 hr to cook and cool dry chickpeas

Recipe type: Dip

Yield: 2 cup

Level: Easy

Ingredients

2 cup cooked chickpeas (1 cup dried chickpeas, look for smaller size chickpeas and not big garbanzo been for better testing hummus)

1 cup reserved cooking liquid or plain water with a pinch of salt or more per taste

1/3 cup tahini paste (NOT tahini sauce, Al Wadi Al Akhdar Tahina is my favorite

2 big clove of garlic roughly chopped

1/4 tsp dry roasted cumin powder
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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Just like the name says, this recipe makes chewy, still crispy on outside, not too sweet, perfect shaped, not too flaky and not too flat chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I want my chocolate chip cookies certain way and if you are one of them you are looking at the right place.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I wasn’t the chocolate chip cookie girl, until a good friend and avid baker Sarah introduced me to one of her delicious homemade cookies. I believe either you like chocolate chip cookie or you don’t and it’s me who likes chocolate chip cookie provided they are homemade and meet above criteria. I have penned recipe named Sarah’s cookie recipe in my recipe book that she had found from king arthur flour website. And ever since I became fan of these cookie and started baking at home.

Ready for oven

After baking and serving number of batches and tasting along the way, there is one quality I felt missing from these cookies and it is that I wanted my cookie bit more chewy, not soggy or wet in the middle, plain chewy and still crunchy on the edges. Few days ago I came across another chocolate chip cookie recipe from King Arthur flour recipe collection. I gave it a try over the weekend to take along as treat for kids at my daughter’s dance class and the result was amazing. Chewy yet crispy cookie, just how I wanted. In my 5 yr old words; Mom, I like your homemade cookies better because they are fresh which was enough to melt my heart and earn her another cookie. Read smart cookie here.

Ready for munch

Sharing perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe that worked for me adapted from King Arthur flour’s recipe collection, Joy’s brown butter chocolate chip cookies with pecans. I baked with couple of my own tweaks to suit my quick and easy style of cooking & baking. This is nuts free recipe. I am also working on egg less & gluten free version, will share that soon.

With holiday’s season approaching, I desperately feel the need to have couple treats and their trusted recipe handy. This is the first in the book and its here to stay.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Baked goodness with semisweet chocolate chips

Prep      |     Cook      |   Total Time

15min         15min          30min

Recipe type: Cookie

Yield: 3 dozen medium size cookies using small cookie scoop

Level: Easy

Ingredients

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup clarified butter (Ghee)

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar (Raw organic granulated sugar)

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk (Organic large brown egg)

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp instant coffee powder (Nescafe classic)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (king arthur whole wheat white flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips + 1/4 cup to add on top (Ghirardelli’s semi sweet chocolate chip)

I tend to look at the ingredients only before starting to bake and I should admit how many times I have realized not having or missing important tools handy while baking going through the direction and finding things. Most important thing before starting to bake anything to have everything ready within arm’s reach. Hence, I feel the need to mention special tools followed by ingredients.

Parchment paper (I highly recommend), Small cookie scoop (Guiltless size for kids and grown ups, Ice cream scoop will make really large cookie), Flat baking sheet, Wire rack, Flat spatula, Stand mixer or hand mixer or if you are in mood to work your arm, wire whisk will work too.

Directions

Preheat over for 350F.

Lightly grease cookie pan with butter or line with parchment paper as shown

Get all wet ingredients ready

Shift flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In the bowl beat butter and brown sugar until combine, for about 3-4 minutes.

Now add clarified butter along with granulated sugar and beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, again 3-4 minutes.

Add one egg & egg yolk at a time, add vanilla extract and coffee powder, beat for another minute.

Add flour mixture and mix just until everything is incorporated, avoid over mixing.

At last fold chocolate chips with spatula and scoop on the baking sheet leaving about 2 inch space in between each cookie. See the image for reference. If you are making large cookie leave more room to expand.

Flatten the top a little. At this point you can add extra chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges starts too look brown and the middle looks set.

I use convection over and depending upon the type of oven you are using and size of the cookies, baking time may vary by a minute or 2. Keep an eye at the end of the baking.

Once cookies are baked, remove the baking sheet from the oven, lift cookies with flat spatula and let them cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve warm, its how I like personally or store them in to air tight container at room temperature for couple of days if there is any left over. Extra baked cookie stores well in freezer for long time, I prefer to freeze the scooped dough and bake when I need to. Just bring cookie dough out of the freezer while oven is preheating and bake as directed above. If you want more flat shaped cookies, thaw them well before baking.

Pack them in to lunch box, serve as after school treat or take along on your next adventure. Suggestion to make holiday favorite, add couple holiday special colored mini M&M on top right before baking. Follow the same idea for your favorite occasion and these cookies will sure impress the guest.

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

That’s literally all it has. Cilantro and Mint. The Green chutney base for most street food served in India and Indian restaurants abroad. Samosa, Bhel, Chaat to name few. My mouth is watering just thinking about these roadside treats. Living in United States Bhavin and I miss these quintessential, yummy food served till late night only a drive away. Friends turned in to life partners we share foodie interest since our school days. Like any local food lover we knew where to go for which particular street food. And we would drive from one end of the city to another for that food from that place. Do you remember when the last time you drove longer than going to work for something that special?

Cilantro Mint Chutney

And well, some of our friends shared that same craziness with us and now whenever we visit home we do good food hopping together. You probably guessed right so to make any of these items at home first and foremost I will need to make this green chutney. Here I have my version of cilantro & mint chutney based on my memories of having them at different part of city and the one that works best for sandwich that I will making after preparing this chutney.

Green ChutneyI grew up eating this green chutney as side with meal. We almost call it green ketchup as anything that can be served with ketchup can be served with this chutney too. Growing up we always had this handy. Its our way of getting green in diet, or almost. Although mom had different recipe and I have found mine slightly different the idea behind having it ready in the refrigerator is the same as having it handy for when that craving strikes. Will cover mom’s recipe soon along with couple of her specials which I long for.

 

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Green chutney made with cilantro, fresh mint leaves, hot green chilly & lime juice. Serves as sauce, dip or spread

Prep      |     Cook      |   Total Time

10min         00min          10min

Recipe type: Chutney, Sauce, Dip, Spread

Yield: 1 Cup

Level: Easy

Ingredients

2 cup roughly chopped cilantro (For more concentrated flavor and aromatic cilantro look for smaller and dark green leaves)

Handful of fresh mint leaves (15-20 leaves)

6-8 small green chilly (This is medium spicy recipe)

1.5 tbsp lime juice

3/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

 

Directions

Place all the ingredients in the blender except oil. Add oil little at a time while blending. Blend until its like pesto consistency.

Depending upon the type of blender you might have to adjust the quantity of liquid to get the job done. You may need more oil if the blender is slow or vice versa.

Oil can be totally replaced with water if you are going to consume chutney on same day. What I have found however just like pesto adding oil for blending in this chutney helps retain the color, taste and integrity. And because using oil instead of traditionally made with water it doesn’t separate or taste soupy as most people I have heard complaining about cilantro having funny taste sometime. Above all it works best for sandwiches as it doesn’t make the bread soggy.

It stays well for a week in the refrigerator in a tight jar. Freeze an extra batch or if you prepare ahead for entertaining and serve with Samosa, Bhel, Chaat, Paratha just about anything savory.