Friday, February 12, 2010

A Middle Eastern twist to a quick appetizer

I live close to Dearborn, one of the biggest Middle Eastern community in the US. They have some great Middle Eastern food and the baklavas(pastries filled with nuts and honey) to die for. In the 10 years that I have been here , I have ventured there for their yummy baklavas, but I have never been to a Middle Eastern restaurant yet. I think the Mughlai cuisine back home has its root in the Middle Eastern fare that I have seen here. For my daughter's last birthday, I had gone with the Indiana Jones theme and had done an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert from each of the four movies locations. For "The Last Crusade" theme I had hummus and pita bread for the appetizer, naan and lamb kofta for the entrees and the baklava for dessert. Today we have Hummus and Naan Chips for a quick appetizer. The hummus is an authentic one that I learnt from one of my former co-workers who is part Irish and part Lebanese. She learnt this from her grandmother. I loved it the first time I made it 10 years back.I still love making it and it has been a hot party food at my home. Ingredients:
(for the Hummus)

1 can of chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
Juice from 2 limes
1 cup of extra virgin cooking oil
2 tbsp of tahini( sesame paste-found in any grocery store international food aisle)
Salt and pepper to taste

(for the Naan chips)
3 store bought frozen naans
Non stick cooking spray

  • Heat the oven at the broiling temperature.
  • Open the can of chick peas and rinse them.
  • Thaw the naans in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Cut the naans in as many pieces as you like.
  • Spread the naan pieces on a cookie sheet or an aluminum tray.
  • Spray some non stick cooking spray on the naan chips.
  • Put them in the broiler till they are light brown( partly crunchy and partly soft).
  • In a food processor, process all the ingredients for the hummus in a smooth paste.
  • Put it in bowl and garnish with a little olive oil and parsley.
Its a great vegetarian appetizer and the hearty chick peas make it a good sandwich spread. The tahini gives it a great nutty taste. The chewy naan chips are a great dipper with the hummus.

0 have added some spice: