Bahrain is my home for the past 10 years, yet I haven't posted many recipes that represent the food of this region.Lately, I've been getting requests for Arabic recipes and I feel embarrassed to give a negative reply.
I think apart from Shawarma, which has a cult status, Arabic Mezze is the next well known dish of the region. Mezze is similar to appetiser/ starter/ finger food. Arabic Mezze usually consists of Hummus, Moutabel, Labneh, Tabbouleh,Fattoush. It may vary from place to place.
Last week, one of my friends gifted me some veggies she got from a local farmer's market. There was a Red Bell Pepper in that lot. Rather than using it for a stir fry, I wanted to make something that highlights the flavour of the pepper. The smokiness from the charred red bell pepper gives a nice twist to the regular hummus. It's also a very healthy snack and nutritious too. If you are still sticking on to your new year resolution of eating healthy (I know it's a very big IF ;) ) , this is a good recipe. You can have it with some sliced veggies, pita bread or you can make sandwiches using this as a spread.
Before we go to the recipe, let me share something with you. MM was featured in New Indian Express Newspaper, Kochi edition, last Friday :)
Here is the recipe…
- 2/3 cup Dried Chickpeas
- 1 large Red Bell Pepper (capsicum)
- 1/4 cup +1 tsp Tahini
- 1 tsp Minced garlic
- a pinch Cumin powder
- 1.5 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp Chilli powder
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1/4 -1/3 cup Ice cold water
- Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain the water and pressure cook the chickpeas in 1.5 cups water, till it is done (refer notes). Let it cool.
- Roast the red bell pepper over a gas stove until the skin is charred black. Use tongs for the same.
- Place the charred pepper in a bowl and cover tightly to let it steam. This helps to peel the skin quickly. When the pepper is cooled enough, rub the skin off. Remove the stem and seeds.
- Cut the pepper into small cubes.
- In a food processor combine all the ingredients except olive oil and ice cold water. Pulse the ingredients while gradually pouring the olive oil. Once the mixture is combined well and become a paste form, add ice cold water gradually for a creamier texture. Do a taste test and add more lemon juice or salt or olive oil if required.
- Drizzle some olive oil on top and serve with sliced veggies or pita bread. You can use this as a base to make sandwiches, wraps etc; You can also serve it as canapes.
- It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.