Spicy Indian Hummus in Methi paratha pockets
Guess the main ingredient in the above dish. Also guess the kitchen gadget that I have used for this recipe.
Main Ingredient: Chick Peas (Many of you got this right)
Gadget: Pressure Cooker (No right answers there)
Over to the story...
This was supposed to be my entry for my favourite gadget at Posie's Place. And the gadget is indeed the pressure cooker. My 2 L Hawkins pressure cooker does the toughest of jobs in minutes sparing my time for more interesting activities like -you know what !
The ingredient used was Kabuli Chana aka Chick Peas. The chick peas when soaked overnight almost double up in size. I'm always in awe of this little miracle of nature.
Soaked chick peas get cooked to a mashed consistency in a matter of 10 minutes when a pressure cooker is used. I could never keep it boiling on stove top for 1-2 hours. Firstly I don't have that kind of patience when it comes to cooking and secondly the LPG prices aren't exactly that low and thirdly I don't want to be depeleting the world's energy resources. For all reasons mentioned above, pressure cooker is my favourite gadget in my kitchen.
Coming to the recipe, i made two recipes with the same cooked chickpeas. One, a spicy hummus (which quite some of you guessed right) which I stuffed inside a methi-ajwain roti (my substitute for Pita bread). This was for breakfast.
With most of the other cooked peas, i made Chole (Pronounced as Cho-lay). Chole is something almost every Indian family makes in it's own style. And probably I shall blog about this national favourite someday. But today's post is dedicated to the Indian style hummus and the roti-technique which I learnt from a friend's mom.
For boiled chick peas -Soak the peas overnight with a pinch of soda-bicarb in the water. In the morning, rinse off well, and place directly into pressure cooker with water to cover plus a little more. I don't generally add salt while cooking, as it toughens the peas. (I believe so.) Close the lid of the cooker, place the whistle. After 3 whistles, reduce the flame to SIM and keep it for 7-8 minutes. Since the cooker I used is the mini 2 Litre version, the whistles start blowing almost as soon as I close the lid.
Kasoori Methi and Ajwain Paratha:
Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek leaves, which have a very intense flavour. It is generally used along with vegetables like potatoes or to flavour up a gravy. You may very well use this to make Methi parathas, when you are out of fresh methi.
Ajwain is another very strong herb / spice. Called Bishop's weed in English, it is a wonderful home-remedy for indigestion / flatulence / bloating. Since chick-peas are reknowned for gas production, I found it logical to combine it with the ajwain in the parathas.
Kasoori Methi and Ajwain Paratha:
- For hummus:
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mash well with a fork. I like it a little rough and grainy. If you like it silky smooth, use a processor by all means. Check for salt. Garnish with a few fresh coriander leaves and red chilli powder.
- I have omitted the olive oil, but you may mix in a tbsp of the same.
- This hummus tastes spicy and tangy. The sesame seeds lend their nuttiness. I call it Indian style because of the red chilli powder and coriander used.
- You can use this one in several set-ups. As a healthy spread on toast for breakfast, along with chapatis, as a 'thuvaiyal' with dosas. Another wild idea would be to mix steamed rice with this as a 'chutney'.
- For Kasoori Methi and Ajwain Paratha:
- Mix the ajwain and kasoori methi into the flour and bind it into a dough of chapati-dough consistency. Once the dough is done, knead well for 2-3 minutes with a little oil, to make it smooth.
- I followed the following procedure to make thick rotis, which split into two layers once cooked (I'm not talking about a phulka here.)
- Roll out a big lemon sized ball into a long oval.
- 2\. Pinch it towards the center-making a waist. Apply a dot of oil / flour on both the upper and lower circles.
- 3\. Bring the upper circle onto the lower, making a two-layered round.
- 4\. Roll out this into a round paratha.
- Cook this on both sides on a hot tava (griddle) till brown spots appear. Remove from tava.
- Spread the hummus on one half of the paratha. Place a few slices of tomato and fold the paratha in half. Cut into two pieces.
2 cups of flour will give about 8 thick parathas.
This was an absolutely yummy treat. Though we had one each for breakfast, it can be a wonderful brunch idea. Serve some cut up fruits like papaya, watermelons, a hot mug of chocolate along with the hummus stuffed parathas and it will keep you going till dinner time.
Except for the one tsp oil used in binding the dough, this entire recipe has no added fats, except for the natural oils from the sesame seeds. The fibre from the chick peas and whole wheat flour, Vitamin C from lemon and tomatoes and the digestive action of ajwain- it really cant get healthier than that!
(c) Nandita Iyer 2006-2015