To me, there is no food more satisfying and delicious as the chickpea. The recipe variations endless and it is both filling and nutritious. Like lentils, chickpeas provide plenty of protein, are tasty and are satisfying. At home, chickpeas and lentils are a staple in my diet. Of course at home, it is easy to go to Trader Joes or the co-op and stock up on my necessities. In Korea, however, finding such items has proven a challenge, albeit not an impossible one.
Last week, I had the pleasure of discovering both dried and canned chick peas while shopping at E-mart. Of course I bought both, wanting some instantly and then to soak some for later. Prior to this discovery (I think it’s a new product on the E-mart shelves), I bought my stash of chickpeas at the “Underground Market,” which restaurant where one walks in and asks for chick peas.
Today I really had a taste for hummus. I’m not sure if it’s being homesick, or wanting more of the food I used to eat, but I decided today would be the day I made it happen. I haven’t seen tahini on the shelves, but hummus can be made with any kind of nut butter. The problem is the only kind I have seen is peanut butter, and alas, I am allergic to peanuts. But today during our phone call, Giovanni mentioned making my own tahini, thus propelling the thought of homemade tahini into my brain.
Tahini is actually really easy to make. So easy, in fact, that I have no idea why I was paying upwards of $10 for a jar of it at home when I had tons of sesame seeds on hand. All you need is a good blender (which I bought yesterday), sesame seeds and some oil. The seeds should ideally be toasted, but I don’t have an oven, so I just used the seeds untoasted. I think I can buy toasted seeds, but I paid 1000won, so I’m not complaining. It turned out fine.
I happened to have some dried chickpeas soaking just for the occasion. It should be noted that chickpeas, like peanuts, are legumes and thankfully I don’t have any problems eating the later. I did have a rather unfortunate experience at school the other day when a student stuffed a peanut peppero stick into my mouth… but that’s another story.
Now, here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 4 cloves garlic
- juice of one lemon
- 4 tsp tahini
- salt and cumin to taste
First I peeled 4 cloves of garlic and chopped in the blender bowl. Next, I boiled the chickpeas until soft, drained and placed in the blender bowl with the garlic. Then I added 4 tsp tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice and a handful of parsley. Once blended, I added salt and cumin to taste.
I dipped cherry tomatoes, crackers and tortillas in the hummus and it was deliciously satisfying.