Thanks to the use of chickpeas two ways, this version of hummus is often referred to as a “deconstructed hummus”, but not for chefs, especially Ajay Thakur (Corporate Chef, Bayroute) who finds more “excitement” in this Lebanese innovation.
By Madhulika Dash; Picture and Recipe courtesy: Bayroute
Hummus. The famous silken, creamy, rich dip from Middle East that has literally waged a paternity war in the Middle East for nearly a century now. A well-loved not only of the Arab nations but wherever this chickpea (or Hummus in Arabic) based dip has managed to travel, hummus’ origin has been a debate that food writers and historians each like to indulge with new facts coming each day. While according to some, the creation of hummus pre-dates the bible given that it was among the first few crops that were grown by ancient civilisation, including, says culinary revivalist Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, who dates it around the time before the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was one of the better sources of good protein, but also a food that could turn into this delicious paste with a little addition of fat or any form of oil, says Chef Gorai, whose inquest into the eating habits of the ancient generation did bring out some fascinating aspect of the paleo diet they followed where plants were a significant of their daily diet. And chickpeas, he says, “was one of the key ingredients.”
A statement second by many historians who date the production of chickpea as early as 1000BC – and credit hummus to the Turkish kings of Damascus. One of the earliest recipes for hummus bi tahini (chickpeas with tahini) appeared in a 13th-century Egyptian cookbook, there have been claims that the recipe mentioned originated from Syria. But that has not stopped from writers, chefs and foodies to have their own take on Middle East cuisine’s brand ambassador. In fact, many armed with new facts today credit Lebanon followed by Beirut as the plausible birthplace of hummus, after all, these were places that were known to have “a rather urban culinary culture through history and to date.” Fascinatingly, the Hummus War has only worked to egg culinary minds and chefs to find newer versions of the dish to honour the makers of such a beloved classic. One such creation that is picking up its brownie points of being a favourite is the Hummus Masabacha. Distinctively Levant in its make, this younger cousin of hummus also called deconstructed hummus thanks to the use of chickpeas in two different ways is, says Chef Ajay Thakur, “more exciting than the original at times, given that Masabacha, which gets its name from sabach, which translates into morning, has more textures play that works wonders on the palate when had the first thing in the morning with bread.”
A fast-moving dish at Bayroute, the beauty about Masabacha, says Chef Thakur, “is not just the taste or the texture, which is grainier to the original, but also the fact that it is a dish that celebrates leftovers and how. Unlike hummus, which warrants chickpeas to be boiled fresh, Masabacha Hummus, continues the Lebanese food specialist, “was curated to put the leftover chickpeas to good use, and uses a comparatively bigger quantity of chickpeas in the making since they are used both mashed and fried as well. This dual technique not only gives the Levant innovation its distinct taste, texture, and even plating style, it also lends it this amazing palate appeal that makes it a scrumptious deviation from the classic dip. Chef Thakur, who prefers using the desi jumbo-size Kabuli Channa for making his version of the Hummus Masabacha in fact insist that it is a dish made for Indian palate and doesn’t have the pressure points of making of the original that needs proper whipping to get the texture and feel right without getting the mixture heated as it may bring out the oil from Tahani. In case of Masabacha, while it does have quite a muddling to do while avoiding any signs of oil release, the texture is slightly grainer to the classic and this includes the flavorants too, especially, adds Chef Thakur, the green chilli and garlic that are needed to be coarsely mashed. This also explains, says the chef, “why the use of bigger pods of garlic is allowed while making this classic dish from Levant.”
Much like the classic hummus, Chef Ajay’s version has a delicious garlic pesto, hung curd, freshly fried chickpea and cumin powder that adds that distinct twang to his version of this Levant’s special. When made well and stored in refrigerator, it can last easily for the next two to three days. However, says Bayroute’s culinary mind, “store the different elements separately and assemble once you are ready to eat, and always fry the chickpea fresh. You want the crunchiness.”
Name UOM QTY
Raw Chickpeas KG 0.25
Tahini Paste KG 0.1
Lemon Juice KG 0.017
Salt KG TO TASTE
Garlic KG 0.015
Ice KG 0.1
Olive Oil Pomace KG 0.15
1. Wash the Chickpeas Thoroughly to remove all the dust and dirt.
2. Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours. Wash the chickpeas and Set them to Boil in a Pressure cooker and Cook them for at least 5 whistles.
3. Once the cooker is cooled open it and check the chickpeas. They should be almost a mush.
4. If cooked to a mush then Cool immediately and if not cooked cook further in the Cooker till the Chickpeas are a Mush.
5. Once cooled Wash the Chickpeas thoroughly in cold running water (Remove all excess chickpea skin as possible. And strain the excess water from the Mix)
6. Once cooled Add the Boiled Chickpeas, Salad Oil, Garlic and Ice into a blender. Blend till an absolute smooth paste is formed.
7. Add in the Tahini and blend on a High Speed so that all the Tahini is Mixed thoroughly into the Mixture. (If the mixture is too thin Add in More Tahini Paste to thicken the Mixture)
8. Add the Salt and Lemon Juice as per Taste. Chill in the Refrigerator Till core temperature is below 4 degrees. Serve With Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Paprika and Black Olive.
CHILLI GARLIC PESTO
Name UOM QTY
Green Chiily KG 0.025
Garlic KG 0..015
Lemon Juice KG 0.045
Salt KG TO TASTE
1. In a Mortar & Pestle Mix All the ingredients till a Corse paste is made.
Name UOM QTY
Hummus KG 0.150
Hung Curd KG 0.075
Chilly Garlic Pesto KG 0.025
Cumin Powder KG 0.003
Chopped Parsley KG 0.003
Extra Virgin Olive Oil KG 0.015
Boiled Chickpeas KG 0.050
Fried Chickpeas KG 0.035
1. In a Bowl mix The Hummus, Hung Curd, Boiled Chickpeas & the Cumin Powder and mix it thoroughly.
2. Place the mixture in a serving bowl, Lay the Chilli Garlic Pesto on top of the Hummus.
3. Garnish the Dish With Chopped Parsley.