Low Fat Spread – Hummus

I’ve been meaning to change the way we eat for quite a while, but for some reason or the other, didn’t really get around to it. But now, things are going to change and thats that. I’m tired of being overweight. Hence the new health regime at home now.

The kitchen is now off limits to everyone except me, for cooking that is. Earlier breakfasts would be typically north Indian, i.e. paranthas (oil) with pickles (oil), vegetables (oil) or butter (OIL!). I would order lunch from someplace close to office and that typically consisted of rotis, rice, dal, vegetables, curry and a salad. Dinner usually turned out to be something elaborate and full of everything tasty but not in the least bit healthy.

As of the last 3 days now, I’m doing all the meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, as in cooking them. Vegetables and bread are bought fresh every day. Breakfast is something warm or cold but never hot – as in boiled eggs or a warm salad with a piece of whole grain toast. The toast is avoided if possible. Lunch is always cold like a salad or sandwiches with a lite spread and cucumber, tuna, chicken or tomatoes among other possibilities. A juice or a broth could be thrown in. Dinner is always hot and cold – a spicy curry made with fresh vegetables and a salad. Also, I’m cooking just enough so there’s no room for leftovers, which inevitably end up as midnight snacks.

My fridge looks so nice these days. Just like the ones they show in television adverts. Fresh fruit and vegetables, thick slices of cottage cheese, other cheeses and what have you.

Anyway, the subject of lite sandwhich spreads had me thinking, since lite butter like spreads and lite mayo still inevitably have large amounts of fat in them, possibly lower than their original versions, but still fatty nonetheless.

That’s where Hummus comes in. Its easy to make, store and can be mixed into so many varieties that you never get bored! You’ll need:

  • Chick peas (soak overnight in plenty of water, then pressure cook till cooked)
  • Mashed garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste/sauce. You can pick this up from any store)
  • Lemon Juice

Just pop the chick peas and the rest of the stuff into your blender. Remember to use a teaspoon of olive oil, two teaspoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of tahini per cup of chick peas. Blend. Adjust for taste and consistency. Blend again.

What you have here is the classic Hummus, that can be used in more than one way. Toast pita bread, cut in half,  and stuff the insides with lettuce, tahini and sliced olives. Spread it on sandwiches. Use it as a dip. Fill little tartlets with it or just eat it with a spoon!

You can also get a little creative and flavor it in different ways. For example, blend it with jalapenos for a great nacho dip, mix a little red pepper powder, extra salt and garlic for a nice chutney to go with your dosas, mix chopped olives, green peppers and coriander into it for something with an extra kick – you get the idea.

– Sid

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.