Spud Sunday: Of Hummus, Fries And Food Bloggers

The scene:

A balmy Saturday evening in London, on a post-curry walk, somewhere in the vicinity of Bayswater.

Not that it’s entirely relevant, but the curry in question was a tandoori king prawn masala, and (cue licking of lips) very nice it was too.

The players:

In addition to yours truly, we have Bethany and Mayssam, 2 ladies with Lebanese backgrounds and, I suspect, a vast amount of hummus-eating experience. This fact is significant.

The background:

It was 24 hours since the massed participants at Food Blogger Connect 2010 had descended on the Hempel Hotel.

24 hours with much discussion of bloggery. From the how-do-I-make-money-at-this talk with Jaden to the craft of writing as discussed by Jeanne, Jamie and Kerrin and the low-down on cameras, photography and styling with Hilda, Meeta and Mowie.

24 hours of eating, drinking and making sure you scored a bowl of posh-looking fish, chips and mushy peas whenever they passed your way. And no little discussion of whether that dessert was crème brulée, as advertised, or, in fact, panna cotta. Be in no doubt, this was a group of people who liked to eat and talk about food. A lot.

It was inevitable, therefore, that the conversation following that Saturday evening’s curry would involve yet more food…

The post-curry conversation:

I don’t know who mentioned hummus and fries first, but both of my companions attested to the excellence of one with the other.

It stopped me – the potato lady – in my tracks.

Call them fries or call them chips, it had never occurred to me to dip them in hummus.

And while it seemed that some might baulk at the mere idea of it (just as they baulk at the thought of a chip butty), I immediately wondered where this combination had been all my life. Fries and hummus would be together on my plate at last. I was sure that they were going to be very happy.

The epilogue:

The trip to Food Blogger Connect might have been worthwhile for the hummus insight alone, but there was much else besides (for some lovely portraits from the event drop over to Mowie and for a run down of the food Sarah is your lady).

It was a joy to catch up with familiar bloggers, like Jamie, Adrienne and Pamela, and to meet new faces like Valentina, Heather, Julia, Anne, Giulia and so many more. My already hefty list of blogs to visit has put on some serious weight after last weekend. There’s nothing else for it but to make some obscenely healthy hummus. To go with a rather large order of fries.

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Sprouted Chickpea Hummus

hummus with sprouted chickpeas

I have long been intrigued by the idea of making hummus using raw, sprouted chickpeas. In fact, every time I buy sprouted chickpea hummus from Natasha’s Living Food, I promise myself that I will attempt to recreate it at home. Today I finally kept that promise and made something approximating Natasha’s sprouted chickpea hummus with cumin and coriander.

The taste is quite different to regular hummus but equally tasty and (it being raw ‘n’ all), it’s just terribly healthy stuff. It does require a certain amount of forethought (4 days worth to be precise, in order to sprout the chickpeas) but it’s worth the planning that goes into it.

You can substitute an equivalent weight of cooked chickpeas here if you like, resulting in something closer to classic hummus.

You’ll need:
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 400g sprouted chickpeas (see instructions below)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp tahini
  • 4 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tblsp lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp tamari (or use regular soy sauce)
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
You’ll also need:
  • A food processor and a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
The Steps:
  • Toast the cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Grind to a powder using a spice grinder or crush using a mortar and pestle.
  • Whizz the chickpeas, cumin, garlic, tahini, coriander, lemon juice, tamari and olive oil together in a food processor so that it forms a paste. Taste and add salt and/or additional lemon juice or tamari if it’s to your taste. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper if you like and enjoy as a dip with (yes) fries or pitta breads or mix with steamed new potatoes to make a warm potato salad.
The Variations:
  • Natasha also makes a sprouted hummus with parsley and black olive which is worth trying to recreate – just replace the cumin, coriander and garlic with some flat leaf parsley and black olives.
The Results:
  • Dip for around 4 people
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Sprouted Chickpeas

Sprouted chickpeas

While it does require a bit of advance planning, sprouting chickpeas really couldn’t be simpler: soak dried chickpeas for 2 days, drain, leave to sprout for 2 days, et voilà, my new favourite snack. I could munch on these as is, though they might just as easily get thrown into salads or made into hummus.

The instructions for sprouting as given below are pretty much as found over on the veggie boards forum.

You’ll need:
  • dried chickpeas (to yield 400g sprouted chickpeas, you will need to start with just under 200g dried chickpeas)
The Steps:
  • Soak the dried chickpeas for 24 – 48 hours – the longer the soaking time, the easier they should be to digest.
  • Drain and let the chickpeas sprout for around 48 hours (I just left them sitting in a colander, loosely covered with a piece of muslin). Rinse them with water about 3 times a day.
  • After about 48 hours, the chickpeas should have developed sprouts around 1-1.5cm in length. Eat the sprouted chickpeas as is, add to salads or make hummus (as above).
The Results:
  • Each 100g dried chickpeas should yield slightly more than 200g sprouted chickpeas.
Comments
  • It was me! The fry n hummus lover! so glad you liked the combo and loved your story telling ;)

    Now i’ve never had sprouted hummus so i must try this, of course!

  • Oh yes, that actually does sound like a match made in heaven! There are other really twisted combos that I’ve enjoyed in the past: chips dipped in satay sauce (eaten in the Netherlands) and chips dipped in curry sauce (eaten in Germany, the county of the Currywurst. I was veggie back then so decided to swap the wurst for chips – delish!)
    Worth a try!

  • Oh wow I’ve been meaning to try this for ages but couldn’t find a good recipe! Thanks for this. Looks great.
    Hummus and chips….now there’s a combination! I’m having hummus for breakfast this morning which might be a step too far in hummus love, maybe.

  • Yum! Heavenly! I’m in! Oh Aoife, it was fabulous catching up and bonding (terrible word) further and I hope one day to make it to Dublin. Then you can make me this scrumptious-looking hummus and fries. xoxo Will be keeping an eye on you (wink)!

  • Well I’ve had salad cream and chips but never hummus. What a terrible oversight, I am salivating at the through of it. That’s dinner tonight sorted!!

    And thanks for the mention too.

  • Wow – that’s so strange I never thought of that combo either – sure ti would be lovely as it’s component parts if not more so – and I must try sprouting some chick peas really soon

  • Bethany: It was such a revelation! I will never look at a bowl of hummus again without wondering where the fries are :D

    Anne’s Kitchen: chips with satay sauce I have not had (but would also be willing to try); chips with curry sauce, on the other hand, I have – for some reason, curry chips is actually a common menu item in chippers hereabouts…

    Aoife: I had been meaning to try the sprouted chickpea version for ages, glad I finally did! And I don’t think having hummus for breakfast is a step too far, honest…

    Jamie: Fabulous to catch up with you too, my dear! If and when you make it here, I will happily whip up a bowl of this for you :)

    Sarah: I know – I’ve had mayonnaise and chips plenty of times but hummus and chips had escaped me – until now, that is :) And a pleasure to mention you – you did such a great job of covering all aspects of the weekend on your blog!

    Lucy: those were my thoughts exactly (and do try the sprouted chickpeas – different but also good)

  • Hummus and fries are a match made in heaven and your hummus recipe sounds divine! It’s not very classic to put cumin in hummus but I always put some in mine because I love the chickpea/cumin combo. Like Bethany, must try sprouting hummus next time!

  • Next time we should be sure to talk more!!
    Now I definitely want to try this combo!!

  • oh that is too funny – when i saw the title of your post – hummus AND fries, i immediately said to myself… ok, someone’s been hanging out with bethany ! ha ha ! i too had the honor of tasting chef b’s phenomenal cooking. including hummus. there were no fries, but i remember being like “what ?!?!” when she mentioned her cherished frites. :) meanwhile, good to know that if my chickpeas sprout, i shouldn’t toss them !

  • Hummus and chips? Sound fabulous to me! Shame I couldn’t go, but have enjoyed everyone’s write up’s.

  • oh my, that is a discovery for me. I am a big fan of chickpeas and hummus. however I had not yet seen that done with sprouted chickpeas. I absolutely love the idea, the unusual aspect – for me that is. so far every visit to Daily Spud is resulting in a new item in my to do list. I am enjoying it. Of course I must start putting my list into practice. Just wanted to let know as well that my English speaking blog is out – http://aweebitofsugar.com/. It is not quite finished in terms of pages, the ability to print..and little things like that. However, the first post has been published. Hurrat!

  • Nice one! Most all of my chickpeas are sprouted… not due to foresight, though, but excessive desire to soak beans and not enough meals to use them in. I start off a new batch every other day and change the water in the alternating days. Then there are always chickpeas or pinto beans or kidney beans on the go. Is it true the sprouted beans are more nutritionally valuable?

  • Every time I read about one of these blogger meet up (whether in London or Tennessee or right here in Los Angeles) it makes me wish I could go to them all. GREG

  • mayssam: you know, I usually keep my regular hummus fairly classic and don’t put cumin in it – though chickpeas and cumin go so well together (as do cumin and spuds) that I might just start adding cumin to my hummus more often!

    Juls: oh yes, let there be a next time and we will have more time to chat :)

    Kerrin: Ah, that we should all get to know each other by the food that we eat! I wish I could say that I’d had some of Bethany’s cooking (the curry we had was from a local Indian restaurant) but someday I might just have to pay a visit to Brighton to have hummus and fries, Bethany-style :)

    Nic: ’twas a shame you couldn’t go, and even though I know it’s not quite the same, the reporting and photos from various sources have really covered events very well

    valentina: Hurrah indeed, I will be over to visit at your new address! And thanks for the kind words, so glad you are enjoying it over here.

    sarah: It’s good to know that you can make use of the beans if they decide to sprout! As for nutritional value, my understanding is that you do get additional nutrients from the sprouts, in addition to the fact that you are likely to gain more (from a nutrient point of view) simply because you are eating them raw.

    sippitysup: …and I wish you could go to them all too – it would be so much fun to meet in person more often!

  • Notwithstanding that I risk a mild case of hives when I eat chickpeas, I LOVE hummus! I’ve never seen or tasted sprouted chickpeas before and don’t doubt that they taste delicious. I may no longer be content with plain french fries/chips dipped in ketchup or smothered in gravy: now, I’ve got to try them, if not with hummus, then at least with mushy peas!

  • It’s awesome to read about food bloggers getting together in the real world. It’s always a nice way to finish off the connection you’ve made online.

  • Hummus and fries – what’s the problem?! Sounds utterly divine! But then again, I would dip fries in just about any savoury sauce/dip that’s going :) It was a lovely weekend, wasn’t it, full of old friends, new faces and wall-to-wall FOOD! :)

  • I have never tried sprouted hummus, very excited to try…I stopped soaking my own chickpeas last year because they started to stink up the kitchen. Did you have that experience? Maybe I got a bad batch of dried chickpeas….

    ps met Valentina for breakfast today and we both gushed about you for a few minutes! we love your blog!

  • Fries dipped in hummus… I think I’m in love! And sprouted chickpea hummus sounds intriguing. I’m so curious about the flavor!

  • Yah live food! Love my sprouted beans and lentils- My son just told me he had a srouted lentil puree with his new vegetarian sweetie, I am excited he is dating a girl with good taste as you :)

    Wish I could do some foodie events!

  • Tangled Noodle: Please don’t risk a case of hives on my account :D I do heartily recommend the chips and mushy peas combination (and, hey, you can have gravy with that too :) )

    Duo Dishes: It’s just great to meet some of the faces behind the blogs, not to mention meeting new faces and new blogs; I really hope we can get to meet like that someday too!

    Jeanne: Hummus and fries? No problem at all :) And it certainly was a lovely weekend, wall-to-wall good times!

    gastroanthropologist: Excuse me while I blush :) I haven’t had any really stinky soaked chickpea experiences (though you’re not the only person I’ve heard who has) – I wonder if they smell differently to different people (in the same way that supertasters taste things differently to non-supertasters… hmm)

    Phyllis: if you’ve ever eaten fresh peas from the pod, then that is similar to how sprouted chickpeas taste (so it’s quite different from the cooked version) – I think you’ll just have to sprout some chickpeas and give it a go!

    Chef E: now that I’ve sprouted chickpeas, I must go and do likewise with lentils, seeing as I always have some of those lying around; and I hope you get to do some events like this – maybe we can go to one together one day!

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