Tahini – For hummus, salad dressings, baking and more


I’ve made tahini before and only because all recipes of hummus calls for some. And without it, hummus is simply a chickpea mush without flavour. The last time I made it, I didn’t entirely grasp the versatility of tahini. I didn’t stop to take a whiff while it was freshly blitzed and still in the blender. This time I did and it smelled amazing. So nutty you might think it’s peanut butter or something. And it made it correctly this time as opposed to rushing it.

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Roasted Pumpkin Hummus

Yes, there are enough and more hummus and its variations. And you’ll find all their recipes online. I’ve made a couple of them myself – smoked beetroot hummus and peri peri hummus. But we all get excited when we try out a new kind and want to share it. I’m doing just that right now. My roasted pumpkin salad got me roasted a lot of pumpkin and I had saved enough to make a batch of hummus with it. It’s pretty straightforward and tasted delicious. The pumpkin adds sweetness to the hummus so I added some chilli oil along with the olive oil to balance it out. I also found some pounded chilli powder I used to sprinkle on the hummus.

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Smoked beetroot hummus with toasted pita bread

Smoked beetroot hummus recipe

beetroot hummus



(That’s how I smoked the beets)

The first time I had beetroot hummus was in Bangalore at Pepper Cafe. I remember loving the very idea of playing with hummus. A couple of days ago, I was browsing YouTube and came across a video of a lady making beetroot hummus.  Took it further and smoked my beet before blitzing it with the rest of the ingredients. It resulted in  smokey hummus, and what’s not to love about that?!


2 bowls of hummus


Beetroot – 1 large

Cooked chickpeas – 1/2 cup

Tahini – 2 tsp (grind 3 tbsp white sesame with 1/4 olive olive oil to a paste to make tahini)

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Paprika – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Smoke – 2 pieces of charcoal  with 1 tsp olive oil (smoking is optional though)

Salt to taste



beetroot hummus


Preheat oven at 200C for 15 mins.

Wrap the beet in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven and cook for and hour.

Let it cool completely before cutting it up into pieces.

If you’re going to smoke it, then place the beetroot pieces in a wide pan, leaving space in the middle for a small bowl (katori) with the hot charcoal in it.

Pour a spoon of olive oil on the charcoal and quickly close put a tight lid on the pan. Let this sit for 7-8 mins.

In the meanwhile, make tahini.

Once the beetroot has been smoked, put it in your processor/blender and blitz it till it has broken down coarsely.

Add the chickpeas, tahini, salt, paprika, cumin and garlic. A splash of water will help get things moving in the blender.

Blitz away till you get to desired consistency.

Put it in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and some olive oil.

Serve with toasted pita bread or veggie sticks.

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Breakfast pita pockets with Peri Peri hummus and eggs

breakfast pita pockets

These are the result of leftover hummus from the previous day. There was pita bread and eggs as well. So breakfast seemed like the ideal makeover for these leftovers. Hummus has become so popular today that most restaurants are serving it with chicken, veggies and more. I made a hummus a couple of ways – beetroot and Peri Peri. Peri Peri is easy. Just swirl regular hummus with some of the sauce and you have Peri Peri hummus. It’s easily spreadable inside pita and with some eggs, it makes for a great breakfast!

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Peri Peri hummus – Spicy, sour and delicious

breakfast pita pocket
Recipe for Peri Peri hummus

peri peri hummusHummus is one of my favourite foods. And when it’s laced with Peri Peri sauce, the regular hummus gets a spice kick like no other. It can be used as a dip for chips, sandwich spread, or if you’re like me, you’d eat it as it is. I soaked a few too many chickpeas and ended up making two kinds of hummus. One of them was this, and it was delicious. If you plan ahead, hummus can be put together in just a few minutes without much effort. With a few garnishes, it’s sure to be a hit! Don’t forget to serve it with toasted pita bread.


One big bowl (hard to give exact yield here)


Chickpeas – 1 cup soaked overnight or for at east 8 hours

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Garlic – 4 cloves

Tahini – 2 tsp (tahini is 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds blitzed with 2 tbsp olive oil to make a paste – adjust olive oil according to desired consistency of paste)

Peri Peri sauce – as much or as little as you want

Salt to taste


Cook the soaked chickpeas with double the amount of water in a pressure cooker – let one whistle out on high heat and then cook for 10 mins on low.

While the chickpeas cook, make your tahini.

Once the chickpeas are cooked and cooled, blitz it in your blender/processor along with olive oil, tahini, garlic, salt and cumin.

You’re looking for a coarse yet spreadable mixture. You might have to stop every now and then to scrape the sides of the mixer’s jar to blitz again.

Pour this into a bowl and swirl around some Peri Peri sauce.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

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