Sunday, September 28, 2008

Humus and Tzaziki Dip

Necessary accompaniments with any good pita bread or with falafel or as a 'spread' for a pita sandwich...both are easy and best made 'from scratch'.

Humus

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chick peas soaked overnight or 1 cup canned chick peas
  • 2/3 cup tahini paste (ground sesame - paste)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • fresh ground black pepper

Drain the chick peas and put them into a saucepan. Cover with fresh water and boil simmering for about 2 hours or until they are soft. If using canned chick peas omit the first step. Put into a food processor and add the rest ...mix til a soft paste forms. Add salt to taste. (I hate to add salt but it DOES bring out the lemon and garlic so if you want to keep it low sodium...use a salt substitute)

Tzaziki

(For this use, or used as as a dip, the sauce is left creamy and simple with garlic and lemon. If you wish to use Tzaziki as a side dish then chopped or shredded cucumber is often added.)

Ingredients:


1 cup plain yogurt (uhm...not vanilla flavoured...real good, honest, simple, plain creamy yogurt)
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp lemon juice (fresh if possible)
1/4 cup chopped or shredded cucumber (optional - use if a side dish/omit for dip)
salt to taste
dash of fresh ground pepper

Whip ingredients together and let sit in fridge 1/2 hour to let flavours mingle. You can add a wee bit of finely minced onion as well but a simple plain dip is best.

18 comments:

  1. Just a note about your Tzaziki dip...I think you forgot a main ingredient. Tzaziki should have cucumber in it, thats what gives it the flavour.

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  2. Oh my Trish..and you say you cook like this all the time? I haven't ever tried this dish, I don't even know how to pronounce it!

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  3. Thank you to the anonymous commenter. I have reposted with a clarification as to how the tzaziki is being used in the 'meal' or presentation in this post. In this case...the tzaziki is being used as a dip only. If one wishes to use the tzaziki as a side dish (similar to raita served with curry) then chopped or shredded cucumber is the order of the day.

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  4. Oh I so enjoy both these. . and have made tzazkik but not humus and it really looks so easy. . sesame paste . . .its' available in which section of the grocery store?

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  5. some stores you will find it near the peanut butter...some near the baking supplies...and then...even in the 'health food' section. Have fun!

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  6. trish we love both these dips, and hummus is a staple in our home, since it is so good for you.....oh i love falafels...almost out of control on that one,especially with hummus.....yum

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  7. Love humus and I don't think I've had homemade. How long does it keep in the fridge?

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  8. I've always wondered about humus...but have never tried it. We enjoy tzaziki at out favorite Greek places...maybe we will enjoy it at home as well!

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  9. Mennonite Girls, you have so many great recipes on here... I don't think the hummus is one of your strong points. It's supposed to be quite a bit looser, not so stiff looking. Add olive oil and more lemon next time -- it's supposed to be drip-able, not mound-able.

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  10. Anonymous commenter: You may certainly add more lemon juice or olive oil to make the humus as thin as desired by the user. We just prefer it a bit thicker. When it is served with falafel some family members like to put the 'chick pea spread' into the pita pocket with the falafel. The thicker humus won't 'seep out'. Try and experiment to suit your menu and what you are serving.

    Anneliese: How long does it keep? In my house...not long. I would think that it would dry out if kept in the fridge much longer than a week...just like any other bean dish.

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  11. Your recipes look delicious! I grew up next to a Greek community and am quite fond of tzaziki. I've never had it without the cucumber (or oil and vinegar). I'll definitely try your version. You might note that you need to squeeze the cucumber before adding, else it will be too watery. Have you tried making it with Greek yogurt (yiaourti)? Much better, IMHO. 8-]

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  12. Hi there! I love your site, thank you for such wonderful recipes! I made the hummus yesterday, but it "bound up" so thick in my food processor that the blade actually stopped moving. I referred back to the recipe and the pictures and cannot figure out what went wrong. Should I have added the liquid from the chickpea can too? I see that you suggested olive oil, which is not in the recipe, but I can see would have possibly loosened it up a bit. I would like to try it again (my kids love it with pita chips or bagel chips), but would appreciate any suggestions from someone who has made this already. Thank you!!

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  13. I can see how making it thick corrects for making it runny, but olive oil makes it more creamy without making it runny.

    Hummus usually has olive oil and tzatziki usually has cucumbers.

    Also, putting stuff inside a "pita pocket" is a distinctly US approach - usually it's rolled into lavash or wrapped with pita (that doesn't have a pocket), so you don't have the concern about excess runny hummus leaking from the pita bread.

    Try just putting the falafel with a less chunky hummus on top of the pita, then eat it "taco style" - warming the pitas also improves the whole sandwich.

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  14. Thanks for all the great ideas from the most recent commenters. I think the humus and tzaziki made by all the readers have different twists and I appreaciate the input. The tahini past I use is very runny and I am sure it contributes to the thinner consistency (but not as thin as all readers like). If you are using canned beans do use the water but I add it only as needed so drain it first. The same with the boiled chickpeas; drain first and then add water only as needed. One commenter suggested using olive oil...I have not done so as the recipe from our middle eastern friend did not use it. I am sure olive oil can be used. Hmmm...as I am writing this I am wondering if Humus is made differently depending on the geographics? Perhaps Greek Humus and Tzazki and other neighbouring countries make it different one from the other. In either case, the garlic and lemon makes both of them great meal addititives. Try adding the water or olive oil in slow amounts for binding...also check the tahini paste. One colleague informs me the paste they use is thick like peanut butter. Thanks too for the serving tips to jennconspiracy.

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  15. I've been looking for this for along time. Thanks for the hint about the cucumber.

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  16. I LOVE Greek cuisine having many Greek friends. I like to note that among them, they bicker among themselves over true Tzatzike... Some say in greece there never was any cucumber in it, others say that it does. In our house, we make it both ways, because I love the cucumber taste, while my hubby does not. Either way, it is a great dip and sauce. Oh.. if you do not like cucumbers try chopping up a 1/4 c onion instead. Changes the taste just a little, but still very yummy!
    ~C in Texas

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  17. Love tzatziki and hummus with pita!

    Because I live 25 miles from any store that would carry sesame paste, I make my hummus with a mixture of yogurt (I make my own yogurt) and sesame oil. A little bottle of Oriental sesame oil is a staple in my pantry.

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  18. For the hummus you need to add olive oil, and salt.

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