No formal dinner at our place is complete without a hummus and pita bread mezze platter. Hummus is always the star on the plate, surrounded by sliced fresh or grilled vegetables, toasted pita, pickled olives and herbed Homemade Paneer Cheese cubes. And this platter is not just for entertaining, we make it quite often for light lunch or movie night healthy munching.
Hummus is not just a very creamy and flavourful alternative for mayonnaise and cheese based dips and spreads but can also be a very nutritious addition to our daily diet. As it’s so rich in protein, it helps fight hunger cravings, balances blood sugar and , therefore, manages healthy body weight. It’s a wonderful source of fibre and iron, essentials to keep body functions regular and boost energy levels.
The good news is that not only making your own Homemade Hummus is super easy, a lot more yummy than the gluggy/bland stuff sold in tins but also can be made in so many awesome flavours. This Roasted Carrot Hummus is just one of the many variations on the basic recipe I try at home.
Roasted, caramelised carrots add a very subtle sweetness to the dip, a lovely orange colour and a lot more nutrition (good carbs, fibre, calcium) to each bite. Many roasted and fresh vegetables add a lovely flavour twist to hummus and it’s the most unassuming way to feed vegetables to fussy eaters. Some of my favourite flavours are sweet potato, cauliflower, beetroot and spinach- jalapeno. Roasted Carrot Hummus remains a favourite with the entire family, so it’s the most frequently made and happily consumed of all.
-Adding healthy tastemakers like lemon, garlic, chilli flakes and herbs can help reduce the quantity of salt going in. I even chuck in green chilli peppers at time when I’m in a mood for extra hot.
-If you are using tahini (sesame seeds paste), you can also reduce the quantity of olive oil because there is already olive oil in tahini.
Two large carrots, peeled
1+1/2 cup boiled chickpeas
1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds or 1/4 cup tahini
3-4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano, basil or thyme
salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts for garnish (optional)
This Is What You Do:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Rub carrots with a little olive oil, salt and paprika.
Wrap in tin foil and cook for 40 minutes or till tender. Remove from foil and bake another ten minutes or place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes till nicely caramelised.
Place chickpeas, carrots, sesame seeds, garlic, paprika, cumin, dried herb of your choice in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break and mx the ingredients.
Add lemon juice and salt. Gradually drizzle in olive oil while the food processor is running till you get the required consistency of roasted carrot hummus. If it’s still too thick for your taste, gradually add a little warm water while the motor is still running till you get a creamy texture.
Transfer it to a serving dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and add garnish with some red chilli flakes and pine nuts for more flavour kick and texture dimension.
Serve with toasted pita, sautéed vegetables, fresh celery and cucumber wedges, kebabs or roasts.