06 May 2009

In Nirmala’s Kitchen

Nirmala Narine travels the world looking for exotic spices. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Once she has found and imported these unique spices, she sells them on her web site, Nirmala's Kitchen. Then you purchase them and become the interesting and creative chef you always wanted to be. Perhaps I have over-simplified things, still...

If you are having trouble thinking of how to use a particular spice, look no further than her book, In Nirmala's Kitchen: Everyday World Cuisine. While the recipes can be exotic, they are not above the skill of moderate cook; a cook who can navigate a stocked international market. The book has an informative glossary in the back, detailing many of the ingredients she uses. Her recipes offer detailed stories of how she came to prepare or sample her recipes. Today, hummus is a staple on grocery shelves. Buying ready-made hummus in a grocery is tantamount to buying ready-made guacamole; there is simply no need! Hummus is a breeze to make and far better than anything in a store. This one has a nice kick.

Israeli Hummus

2 cups plus two tablespoons cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
About 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Cayenne and chopped parsley for garnish
Pita bread or store-bought or homemade spiced Pita Chips for serving

1.In a food processor, combine 2 cups chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic,1/2 cup olive oil, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; blend until smooth. Drizzle additional olive oil mixture to obtain the desired consistency (it should be thick enough to spoon onto pita bread or chips). Season to taste with additional lemon juice and salt.

2.Transfer hummus to serving bowl. Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons chickpeas, cayenne, and parsley; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Serve with brad or Spiced Pita Chips.
This is hummus even a Palestinian could enjoy.

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