Category Archives: Homous

Ful medames…in several guises..

 Ful medames is an Egyptian dish, typically eaten for breakfast, made with fava beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, parsley and a bit of chilli. Basically, a whole lovely mix of wonderful flavours, all in one bowl. It is best eaten warm, on a bed of freshly made homous. HEAVENLY!

I made a batch recently, slightly differently from the typical recipe, but with the same tasty result. I used small split fava beans, which I soaked overnight then cooked in my pressure cooker, in water with a generous amount of olive oil. I’ll be honest, I overcooked them slightly, so I didn’t need to partake in the usual mashing of the beans as they were already pretty mushy! As such, when I added the cooked fava beans to their dressing, they soaked up the flavours perfectly. 

In a large bowl I mixed several tablespoons full of lemon juice with cumin powder, crushed garlic, salt and a touch of cayenne pepper. I added the cooked fava beans to this and stirred well then left it all to develop for a few hours. It was basically a big bowl of mushy yellowy beans so not very photogenic at this stage, it got prettier as I pimped it… 

With some of the mixture I added some steamed chunks of sweet potato and mashed them slightly with the ful medames – again, not wholly a pretty dish, but…OMG! the flavours!!!!!!! sweet potato and lemon juice go so well together, add in the garlic and cumin, and wow!!!! But then I also stirred in some tahini…that took it to a whole new level of amazing! 

This is my version of comfort food – grab a spoon and dig in! 

The addition of chopped coriander was my attempt at making it picturesque 🙂 

Another portion of my ful medames formed a part of this dish of wonder… 

At the bottom of the dish is my homemade homous, sprinkled with sumac; the next layer was some of my warm ful medames; topped with a dip made of peas, coriander, parsley, quark, goats cheese, cumin and lime juice. Does that not sound amazing?? It really was! 

I ate the last of my ful, with mashed sweet potato and topped with some of my falafel mixture.. 

An absolutely flavour overload!!

What do you think? Can I tempt you?? 

Making your recipes..

 Me cooking cauliflower is nothing new, you’ve seen me share many cauliflower recipes, and I roast cauliflower several times a week, but when I saw Lizs post including her pan roasted cauliflower steaks, I knew it would become a new way of cooking cauliflower in my kitchen. I’ve pan cooked cauliflower before, but not as whole ‘steaks’ like this and it was great – and so pretty! 

I enjoyed it with some lovely creamy homous – again, something I make regularly, but this time, I followed Jhuls ‘easy microwave homous’. This was a new method for me to try and involves peeling the chickpeas first, which was fine, except that the tin that I opened held the smallest (and most yellow!) chickpeas I have ever seen!!!! So of course, there was loads of them! But peel them I did..you then microwave them briefly, which shows up just how many skins you’ve missed, and so the peeling continues…

  The method generates a lovely creamy dip and I’m so glad I tried it, and definely recommend it. 

I also served it with sprinkled sumac, toasted flaked almonds and chopped parsley. 

I also made a new spice mix recently; I follow Tanvee on Instagram and her lovely blog, and she told me about Kitchen King Masala, a spice mix used widely in India. You know me, I always like a new spice mix, and I loved making this one too..

 All ready to toast..

I ground this all up and have been using it ever since 🙂 

I have also made the Cajun spice mix from Mollies blog, which the blogs have liked on their chicken and in their quesadillas. And Andreas honey chipotle chicken, another winner with the boys – and eaten far too quickly for me to photograph. Trupti’s spinach dal was also very tasty – but again, no photo, sorry!! Visit Trupti’s blog for the details. 

And finally…more stuffed baby aubergines, this time following Prachi’s recipe..I experimented with purple baby aubergines and little green round Thai aubergines.. 

 Going in

  

 Coming out (they never look as pretty but they sure taste good!) 

 Such great flavours 🙂  

Pictured here with some of an aubergine quinoa bake I recently devised (more about soon). 

I do love making so many of your recipes – thank you for the inspiration x 

Pimp Your Veg part 8: dips, dips, and more dips! (perfect for using up leftover vegetables) 

 Yes, it had to be done didn’t it? I’ve been called the ‘dip queen’ so often that I couldn’t ignore one of my fundamental kitchen practices during this series…I have made dips with sweet potato, butternut squash, aubergines, shallots, garlic, cauliflower, potato, tomato, spinach, coriander, parsley, parsnips, sprouts, pumpkin, courgettes/zucchini, peas, endemame beans, avocado, beetroot, swede/rutabaga, carrots…basically, no vegetable is ever safe from from being whizzed up in a blender with various other ingredients in my kitchen and being turned into a super tasty dip!

It’s also another great way to use up leftover vegetables, cooked or uncooked; and another great way to get more people eating vegetables…its a win win!

There are more examples of dips below, and even more in my recipe index if you’d like more inspiration.

My simple go to method is to whizz up my chosen vegetables with tahini, lemon juice and sometimes some water, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.

Alternatively, you could use peanut butter or another nut butter, plain yoghurt or soft cheese, cashew cream or hemp seed cream (example below), experiment with lime juice or vinegars, it all depends on your tastes. The key thing is to give it a go.

You can roast, steam, boil or cook your veggies however you want to make dips by design, or use up leftovers. Alternatively, try using raw vegetables and see what you think.

Adding spices or herbs is a definite for making a real difference to the flavour. Vegetables roasted with spices make great dips.

Get your blender out and have a go!

Sweet potato (link above)

Spiced roasted potato

Roasted tomato and garlic

Beetroot

Swede (rutabaga) and carrot – basically roasted root vegetables blended with tahini and lemon juice

Homous and harissa – a blend of things I had left over

Chermoula and tahini sauce – yum! Again, I was using things up

Fava bean and salad

Wild garlic pesto

Roasted carrot, red onion and garlic – this is a really favourite: beautiful roasted carrots, red onion and garlic whizzed up with some homous – so good!

Chimichurri pea and quark

Hemp seeds and parsley

Green sauce

You may find this recipe of use as a base for your dips: my homous holy grail, and tahini sauce is a blend of 1 part tahini plus 2 parts water plus the juice of 1-2 lemons depending on taste. You can make it thicker or thinner by controlling the amount of water you add.

I hope you like my suggestions 🙂

I’m going to share this over at Fiesta Friday today in case anyone needs some ideas for using up leftover vegetables from their Thanksgiving Day meal xx

Fava bean and tahini chunky dip with my pastesensation..

 
I have read and researched many recipes recently for Middle Eastern ‘foul mudammas’ dishes and ‘fattet homous’ dishes.

Foul is a dish typically made with cooked fava beans (dried broad beans), in a sauce of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin, often then topped with chopped tomatoes, onion and parsley. The joy is in the gorgeous sauce 🙂

Fattet is sometimes described as a ‘deconstructed homous’; the dish is literally made up of homous ingredients, cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, all mixed together, heated, and spooned over crispy toasted pieces of Arabic bread, and often topped with chopped parsley and pine nuts. And it is GOOD!!! Eaten warm it is glorious moreish comfort food, often eaten for breakfast, but fabulous at any time. 

I’m sure you will see both feature on here very soon…this dish therefore was borne of a bit of both..

The bowl above includes cooked split fava beans (I soaked and cooked these myself in my little pressure cooker and I find that the peeled and split beans work best for me) mixed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chopped tomatoes and parsley; I just put the bits together and let it take shape and then ate it cold on its own and alongside other elements. 

I then threw in some of my leftover Moroccan inspired paste and gave it a new dimension..

  And it worked very very well!! So much flavour, layers and layers of it..a whole new piece of paradise on my plate!

  Apologies for the lack of detailed recipe but hopefully this still shares some ideas and inspiration and might make you chuck a few different things together this weekend?  

And finally I am joining Fiesta Friday this weekend, for the first time in weeks! Where did that time go?? Come and join the party, is week co hosted by the lovely Judi and Stef and feast your eyes on the wonderful dishes that everyone makes..happy weekend! 

See you tomorrow with some sweet potato onion bhaji breads…:) 

More of my daily dishes of health and colour..

 As always, my recent lunches have been full of colour and health and flavour…so here’s a few tasters to inspire and tickle the tastebuds…

Last week I roasted a tray of cumin seeds to create my own roasted ground cumin, the smell was amazing! OMG! Just gorgeous! I keep smelling the jar of the ground roasted seeds it smells so good 🙂 I immediately threw some over some chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and cauliflower, along with some salt and olive oil, and roasted it all.. 

So tasty! 
Whilst cooking an Indian feast at the weekend, I followed a typical chicken madras recipe, but replaced the chicken with mushrooms and peas to create my own vegetarian dish.. 

 ..the leftovers of which made a great lunch the following day. 

I cooked up some quinoa yesterday – using my cooking method – and loaded it with my harissa sauce, this is harissa made as per my previous posts but made with the addition of lots of my own oven roasted baby plum tomatoes and garlic to create more of a sauce.  

This was topped with my ‘holy grail’ homous, dried barberries and raw cashew nuts. 
And today, after reading Julie’s post including braised lettuce, I decided it was time to give this one a try; I’ve seen several posts utilising lettuce this way and when I found a pack of mini lettuce gems in the reduced section of my local supermarket today, I felt fate had stepped in.  

I cut off the ends of the lettuce hearts and cut each one in half length wise; I melted coconut oil in a pan and laid the lettuce cut side down and cooked them for a few minutes until they started to brown, then turned them over to cook through some more. I served them in the pan with grated Red Leicester style goats cheese, my homemade Mexican chilli ketchup and sprinkled with aleppo chilli flakes.   

 It was almost like a pizza on a lettuce base! And very tasty, if I say so myself!! 😉 

I hope your week has started well xx

Keeping it green: cauliflower falafels & ‘spinach falafel homous’…

 Following on from making oven baked falafels this week, I, of course, then had a play with the recipe and ingredients. When I made the falafels during the week, I loved the flavours, the uncooked mixture was lovely even before it was cooked.I decided to try out the recipe again replacing the chickpeas with finely chopped cauliflower and some chickpea flour instead of standard plain flour and gluten free baking powder making the patties gluten free and low carb as something different…

So, taking Sadia’s falafels recipe, this is what I did.. 

Ingredients 

1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped into florets 

1/2 of a large onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves 

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder 

1/2 tsp pepper powder 

1/2 tsp red chilly powder/ cayenne 

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder

3 tbsp besam/chickpea flour 

Method

I chopped the cauliflower to a small crumb in my blender first, then added everything else and blended it all together. I put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours to firm up a bit, it remained pretty sloppy though.

To cook the ‘falafels’ I heated a pan over a low/medium heat and sprayed a fine mist of oil across the base of the pan. 

With my hands, I formed balls of the mixture then placed them into the pan and flattened them. I cooked them until the underside started to brown then carefully turned them over to cook the other side. Keeping the heat low allowed the patties to cook through and firm up the mixture.

As above, I ate the first ones with my own harissa sauce (homemade rose harissa with extra tomato) and crumbled soft goats cheese. I finished the mixture off the next day with grated hard goats cheese.. 

  Keeping the flavours of the mixture in mind, I decided to make some more falafels and then to utilise the flavours in a dip.  Since making the first lot of falafels I had received a parcel of ingredients that I’d ordered including this falafel making tool.. 

  Isn’t it cool? And it looks like it’s made of recycled tin cans so there’s arabic print in the inside of the cup 🙂 

So this is how it works.. 

 

You fill the cup with the mixture, press it firmly into the cup then use the lever to push out the moulded falafel onto a sheet of oiled foil, lining a baking tray, ready to cook. Perfect little oven baked falafels..

Whilst making these, I made the dip: ‘spinach falafel dip’

Ingredients 

200g cooked chickpeas

200g baby spinach 

100g tahini 

1/2 of a large onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

2-3 tbsp lemon juice, to your taste 

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp coriander powder 

1/2 tsp red chilly powder/ cayenne 

1 1/2 tsp salt

Water as needed

Method 

Whizz it all up together until smooth, you will have to add the spinach in batches. 

So this was my lunch today: falafels, crisp lettuce, carrot sticks, my spinach dip, my homous and my harissa.  

     

Do you mind if I just say, again….I love my own food!!!! Belatedly, I am bringing this to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted today by the fabulous Michelle and Juju, and hope that everyone fancies trying my concoctions. 

I hope you’ve all had, or are having, a great weekend x x x  

     

This week I have been playing with soya (endemame) beans! 

 

You know what it’s like, you haven’t been shopping yet and there’s limited fresh food in the house, so you look around and see what you can create from what you’ve got…this was me yesterday. So I pulled together what I’d got: soya (endemame) beans, quinoa, garlic, coriander, tahini, lemon juice, spices, dried barberries..basics that I always have.

This therefore was the basis of my lunch today and I can tell you it was so tasty!!! So fresh and healthy and packed full of flavour, so let me tell you more.. 

 

The salad

I cooked frozen soya beans then mashed them with crushed garlic, ground cumin, lemon juice and olive oil. I mixed this with cooked quinoa and left it over night for the flavours to develop. 

Today I added chopped coriander and topped it with dried barberries for colour and the added flavour bite.

It was so good!!! 

 

The green dip… 

Ingredients:

150g soya beans, cooked and cooled

1 bunch coriander, chopped

3-4 tbsp tahini (it’s not always easy to measure tahini so just pour some in and see how it tastes, you can always add more, I usually do!)

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 cloves of garlic, crushed 

1 tsp cumin 

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Water to loosen up the mixture as needed, start with a little and add as required 

Whizz it all together in your blender and enjoy!

The homous… 

This is packed full of spices and flavour!

Ingredients:

1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and washed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup tahini, notes as above

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 cayenne pepper

1/4 ground allspice

Salt and pepper to taste 

Water to thin as necessary

Again, whizz it all up in your blender and enjoy. I use my NutriBullet to make my homous which makes it wonderfully smooth.  

 

I spooned some of both dips over the salad and stirred it through to create an amazing full on taste altogether.  

All I can say is: I do love my own food!!! 

I’m taking my salad and dips over to this week’s Fiesta Friday – did you hear, there’s a new party venue? Fiesta Friday now has its very own home, so pop over and have a visit and see what everyone has brought along. This week you are in the very wonderful and lovely hands of co hosts Margy and Selma – both amazing cooks, treat yourself to a good look round their blogs when you have some time to spare 🙂 

Have a great weekend everyone xx

 

Fiesta Friday time!!! 

I’ve been so busy co hosting this week’s Fiesta Friday that I ha ent had time to actually post anything myself! So, happy weekend everyone, and happy Fiesta Friday – do head over for a visit and join Caroline and I at the party…there’s some great posts and lots of new people to meet, and in the meantime, here’s some of the food I’ve made and eaten this week to keep you going…

A kind of shakshuka sauce with peas for added bursts of natural sweetness 😀

I seem to be having eggs with everything at the moment!! Very tasty though, especially as you stir the yolk through the sauce…! 

For lunch today with added pan fried cauliflower in coconut oil.

As opposed to this which was cauliflower roasted in my moroccan spice mix and Mrs Middletons rapeseed oil.

Along with roasted carrots and my own homous! Yum!!!!



And last night I received my first ever vegetable box delivery so this week will be experimenting with all of this fabulous fresh produce – I thought I’d use it as a challenge to see what arrived and what I could make with it, the sprouts flowers along look amazing, so, watch this space!! 

Have a great weekend xx

Homous: soooooo much more than a dip!!!

IMG_7073Following my recent post where I shared my ‘holy grail’ homous recipe, I got into a couple of conversations about the eating of homous that made me think that maybe people don’t eat it or use it, quite like I do. I then read a post from the Frugal Hausfrau in which she and Ginger challenged each other to make their version of the same dish, and a plan formed in my head….the FH and I started to discuss a similar pair of posts between us and debated what dish we could compare. When she mentioned using chickpeas, my light bulb moment occurred: let’s compare how we each utilise homous. Here’s what the Frugal Hausfrau did with hers 🙂

Yes, I spell like this: homous; you may be used to seeing it like this: hummus, or this, homous, however you spell it, we are talking about the Middle Eastern dip comprised of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic (for my full foolproof recipe refer to my post). You’ve all seen me playing with variations on the theme, roasted parsnip, roasted carrot, harissa, black garlic, spiced sprouts, roasted garlic, sweet potato, there is an endless array of variations and flavours that can be achieved with this wonderful stuff, and all of mine are listed in my recipe index.

So, yes, on occasion, I too dip carrot sticks into my homous, bit more typically I eat my homous as my ‘meat’, for want of a better description. I eat great piles of it, together with salads and vegetables; it provides the protein in my meal with the tahini and chickpeas..

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IMG_7378I also use it as a sauce/dressing to add something ‘wet’ to my salads or vegetables. It’s probably a habit from the Middle East, homous and dips are eaten as a mezze with everything.

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IMG_7349I also use mine as a replacement for cream or yoghurt on sauces, especially in something like a chilli if I want to reduce the heat..

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IMG_7358..again, I’m adding much needed protein in my vegetarian diet, but it’s also then non dairy if anyone is looking for a replacement. You could also use tahini sauce, basically, replace the chickpeas with water to make it and add it to everything!

IMG_7133I hope these will give you some ideas about using homous differently and why it’s a great reason to make your own: it’s cheaper for starters! And when you use as much as I do, buying little 200g pots wouldn’t last me a day!!! (And also why it’s a myth that vegetarians are thin!!!)

The Frugal Hausfrau and I are bringing our homous regimes to this week’s Fiesta Friday; we hope that you can join us and all of the other wonderful bloggers who come along, and especially the weekly co hosts who look after us all so well; this week our co hosts are the inimitable Suzanne and Sue, two wonderful cooks and gorgeous ladies that I am very happy to call my friends 🙂

And if you’ve never visited the Frugal Hausfrau do pop over and have a look through her blog, every post comes with such useful information, she is so thorough and knowledgeable. You won’t fail to find a plethora of useful recipes!

Have a great weekend everyone, Happy Valentines Day from me and Bob xx

A day trip to the Middle East..

IMG_7006…well, almost…

In Shepherds Bush, West London there is about half a mile of road that is packed full of Middle Eastern shops, restaurants and businesses; it serves a local Middle Eastern community as well as providing a fab place to visit and shop for those of us with a love of everything Middle Eastern, which is what Selma and I did yesterday 🙂 🙂

IMG_7001I arrived before Selma and had a good walk around and quickly realised that I was in my version of paradise – I just love Middle Eastern designs, styles, aromas, flavours, the language, everything. By the time Selma arrived I was literally bouncing up the street, grinning from ear to ear – and pulling along my new and very necessary shopping trolley!!! I filled this thing by the end of the day with a whole heap of tasty goodies – and all at extremely good prices – I was very pleased to see that just because it is central London that the prices aren’t loaded up 🙂

IMG_7032We visited a couple of supermarkets as well as the fabulous ‘Nut Case’ and had lunch at a Lebanese restaurant, and I can tell you in all honesty, that when I was in each of these establishments I could very easily have been in Abu Dhabi. The layouts, the staff, the products are all the same as I would find when visiting my Mum..

IMG_7026This, and the photo at the top, is in ‘Nut Case’, a shop full of fresh coffee, fresh nuts, fresh mahmoul (biscuits with dates and nuts) & baklava, an array of sweets and chocolates, as well as a whole range of shisha pipes. I can tell you absolutely that this shop is virtually exactly the same as a shop in the Hamdan Centre in Abu Dhabi, down to the same wrapped sweets! I was literally there!!

IMG_6982I managed to buy just a few things…it would have been rude not to, of course!

IMG_7027In the supermarket, Al Dimashqi, Selma and I oohed and aahed our way round, getting in everyone’s way as we marvelled at the products and choices. I fell in love with an entire shelf of tahini and grabbed the chance to try cooked chickpeas in jars, which I’ve been told are better than using tinned.

IMG_7029I stocked up with arabic bread and various ingredients which you will no doubt see featured on here as time goes on. One tip we were given, was to add a few rose petals to a bowl of natural yoghurt and nuts – I’ll be trying that soon.

IMG_7028In the restaurant we indulged in our favourite dishes of homous, mutabal, tabouleh, foul medames and patatas harras. OMG! the flavours of heaven!!

How fabulous does my lunch companion look??

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I was in heaven, again!!

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IMG_6989When you eat in a Lebanese restaurant they bring you a little plate of baklava with your bill..

IMG_6986I am almost heartbroken that my tastes have changed so much that I could only manage a tiny piece 😦

We had such a great day, it was lovely to see Selma, we are in touch constantly, but nothing beats face to face. As we ate our lunch, we discussed all of our lovely blog friends that we wished were at the table with us…you were with us in spirit, my lovelies xx