Dukkah Spiced Chickpea Rice

What do I pack for lunch tomorrow ? This is a question I ask almost every day to my dearest husband and he never has a good enough answer. He does not like to take leftovers of dinner last night as is. This leaves me in a fix!

So I have to work a lot with leftovers in one way or another. Some days I use the curry or vegetable in parathas and make kathi rolls or if I have stir fried veggies, use them up in noodles. On most days, I have a bowl of left over rice staring back at me. When I am at leisure, I sometimes make Spicy Peanut Balls from leftover rice.

On one such instance, I made this rice with chickpeas and spices. This is a easy office lunch option, gets ready in few minutes and is very easy to prep.

Chickpeas add a source of protein to an otherwise basic recipe. I used to always spice this up with the usual coriander and cumin powder. However this time around I decided to experiment with dukkah spice mix.

My colleague recently visited his home back in Egypt and his mum lovingly packed homemade dukkah spice mix for me. See packing brownies for team mates comes with it’s own advantages! 😀

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix comprising of toasted sesame seeds, hazelnuts, coriander, almond meal and cumin. I’m no expert about these spice mixes but just sharing the information imparted by my colleague’s mum!

I have used chaat masala previously to add some zing to rice dishes like Tawa Pulao. This time since I was using a Middle Eastern spice mix, I decided to substitute the chaat masala with some sumac. And I’m glad that I did so!

Here’s my recipe for the Dukkah Spiced Chickpea Pulao:

Chole Pulao

Comes together in : 20 Minutes
Ingredients

2 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 green chilly finely chopped
1/3 cup carrots finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 1/2 tsp dukkah masala
1 tsp sumac powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp carrom seeds (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
3 tsp canola oil
4 cups cooked rice
A handful of parsley roughly chopped
Salt to taste

In a sauté pan, heat some oil and add cumin seeds and carom seeds. Once it sizzles, add green chilly followed by onions.

Cook onions until they are translucent, add tomatoes. Let them cook till they are mushy.

Add the spices, salt to taste and blend well together followed by chickpeas. Let it stand in the mixture for a while.

Add the cooked rice and mix it well with the mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a side of cucumber raita.

Chole Pulao1

Until next time, happy cooking!

Couscous Salad

I have busy first looking for one and then moving houses for the last few weeks now. It is such a tiring process.

But I had a lot of fun looking for new furniture, Nonetheless we finally moved in our new house this weekend and I wanted to make up for all wall of silence on my blog. So here I am, back to the Middle Eastern spread on the blog, sharing an easy recipe for the couscous salad.

Couscous Salad

This is a new favorite and an easy lunch box recipe. It gets ready quickly on weekday mornings. You can chop up the veggies while the couscous is resting.

Couscous is a healthy protein rich option and also low on calories. Add any veggies you love to eat on a given day and you have colorful lunch box which you co-workers would like to dig in.

Comes Together in : 15 Minutes max
Ingredients

1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 finely chopped cucumber
1 finely chopped red onion
2 finely chopped tomatoes
6 finely chopped baby radish
2 tsp olive oil
3 tsp tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon or more as needed
Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Handful of finely chopped dill leaves

In a wide bowl, pour boiling water over couscous and cover it with a lid for 10 minutes.

Let the couscous absorb all the water. After uncovering the lid, when all water is absorbed, use a fork to fluff the couscous and let it cool for a while.

Fluffy Couscous

You could also use vegetable stock to add flavors.

Couscous Tomato Paste

Add the tomato paste and with hands rub the paste in to the couscous.

Veggies

Add all veggies. Dress the salad with olive oil, salt, black pepper and dill leaves.

Couscous Salad1

Toss them well and let it refrigerate for a bit. Savour this on a hot summery afternoon!

Until next time happy cooking!

Hummus

Eid Mubarak everyone! I hope this festival brings in loads of joy and happiness to you and your family.

I’m sharing a recipe of hummus as I make at my place. Hummus is a popular Arabic dip perfect to be served with pita bread (khuboos) or just as a side for any appetizers.

Hummus2

Homemade hummus is much more healthier and cheaper than it’s canned counterparts. Easy to make and stores well for 3-4 days in an airtight container or a mason jar. Sometimes when I have the time and determination to indulge in batch cooking over weekends, instead of using canned chickpeas I go for the freshly cooked chickpeas.

It’s pretty simple! Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook them in salted water, drain the chickpeas and then make fresh hummus. Preserve the liquid in which the chickpeas are cooked and substitute the same with plain water as indicated in the recipe. It tastes fantastic and really makes a difference.

Hummus is my go to snack to carry for work. I eat this with baby carrots, cucumber sticks or just crackers. It is rich in protein, folic acid, Vitamin C and iron. Better than a pack of salty crisps any day!

I also substitute peanut butter with hummus for days when I feel too much PBJ sandwiches did no one any good!

Why add Tahini Paste to this ? Read here!

Comes Together In : 10 minutes
(Considering time taken to make Tahini Paste)

Ingredients
1 can chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini paste
5 tsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
Olive oil and paprika to garnish

Puree the chickpeas with garlic, add little water to facilitate a smooth texture.

Chickpeas

Add tahini paste and the remaining ingredients. Keep adding water and olive oil a little at a time.

Once the texture is smooth and velvety, remove in a bowl or store well.

Hummus1

This versatile recipe can be altered to your own liking. Garnish with olive oil and add Za’atar powder, sumac powder, cumin powder or just paprika to spice up.

Until next time Happy Cooking! 🙂

Tahini Paste

Tahini

Here’s a post on how to make Tahini Paste at home! I am amazed that I am blogging about something which has sesame seeds as the key ingredient.

I have never liked sesame seeds, my earliest memories are of my mum making some cutlets dusted with sesame seed crust. This particular evening I was excited about mum trying a new recipe and I was looking forward to hog the snacks after a long session of working on a crucial college project!

But my excitement disappeared once I took a bite and the slightly bitter sesame seeds greeted me. It was one of those moments wherein you are so put off with something that you form a very strong perception. Ever since then I never tried anything which had sesame seeds in it.

Cut to 3 years back when I landed in Dubai and munching on toasted pita bread and hummus became a way of life. Initially I was quite ignorant and thought hummus is made only from chickpeas but a quick check on Google proved me wrong!

When I tried making hummus the first time, I skipped the sesame seeds and the consistency of the hummus was very off and watery. I decided to take the plunge and add the tahini paste and after seeing the difference they make when added to hummus, I was a convert!

Comes Together In : 5 minutes

Ingredients
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Water as required
1/4 cup olive oil

Dry roast sesame seeds on low heat until they have acquired a light golden brown color.

Tahini 1

Blend the roasted sesame seeds with little water and olive oil until it is a smooth paste.

Voila! Home made tahini paste is ready to be used in making the super-healthy hummus.

I love the creamy and nutty texture they give hummus. I always make a big batch one fortnight and use it during the week to whip up fresh hummus. It stays well for a month if kept in a airtight container refrigerated.

Until next time happy cooking!