Saturday, May 16, 2009

Variety Hour: Hummus bi Tahini, Kebab, Sabzi Pilau, and Coffee!

Warning - this is going to be scatter-brained as I'm finally updating with all the things blog-worthy that I've cooked in, wow, over a month! Which has been unfortunately not been a ton =(. School is kind of time consuming, ya know?

First off, I'd like to give credit to Desert Candy's blog for the inspiration for this new attempt at hummus. Reading her blog, I finally realized you have to cook the beans until they are very soft (skins falling off) in order to get that delicious silky-smooth texture that "real" hummus has. The texture was what I always felt my hummus was missing. I guess that's what I get being an Afghan cooking Arab food ;)

Hummus bi Tahini
pureed chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice, topped with unfiltered olive oil, sumac, whole chickpeas, and kalamata olives

Definitely leaps and bounds better than hummus I've made in the past! It still needs some tweaking - it could be even more silky...mmm

Unfortunately I made the following dish on a different day - they would have been delicious together!

Kofta Kabob-e-Gusht-e-Gow
Minced beef kabobs flavored with onion, garlic, cilantro, and savory spices, grilled over charcoal and served in flatbread with sliced lemon-juice-marinated red onions, lemon tahini sauce, and spicy yogurt sauce

The grill jockey himself. Aka my buddy Nate who stepped in to help grill =)

Sabzi Pilau
Basmati rice parboiled and baked in the juices of a chicken, spinach, blackeye pea and caramelized onion stew, served with a cherry tomato, cilantro, and red onion salad.

This was a yummy AND cheap meal for the week which kept very well. The method is very similar to all Afghan pilaus - caramelize onions, then add in and sautee meat (typically lamb). When meat is done, add spices (coriander, cardamom, cumin, and cloves or so), then add spinach and blackeye peas. Simmer for half an hour, then pour over parboiled rice and bake for 45 minutes!

This time I tried something a bit different, using black cardamom instead of green. They are actually very different in flavor, but it is commonly used in parts of Afghanistan so I figured I'd give it a shot! It has a really distinctive smoky flavor, and I'm still not sure I liked it in this dish, though I can imagine it growing on me.

In other news, I've become increasingly addicted to coffee.... It really doesn't help that my roommate is a master percolator barista. One of his recent creations, one with milk, one without.

We've also tried grinding up a bit of (green) cardamom and tossing it in with the grounds. Yum. Arab-Italian-Latin American fusion, here we go.

Cafe con Leche y Cafe "Negro"

Really we just liked the colors.

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