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.
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 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.
Sprouted Chickpea Hummus
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dip for around 4 people
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.
- dried chickpeas (to yield 400g sprouted chickpeas, you will need to start with just under 200g dried chickpeas)
- 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).
- Each 100g dried chickpeas should yield slightly more than 200g sprouted chickpeas.