My good friend Sara came over for dinner last Wednesday night. When we were discussing what to make, she mentioned Iranian food. Sara is semi vegetarian (she eats fishies) and I was having a hard time thinking of good vegi Iranian dishes. So I decided to go Middle Eastern instead. Hummus is not really an Iranian food, in fact I had never even heard of it before I came to the states. I believe Hummus is more an Israeli and Lebanese dish. Tabbouleh salad is very Lebanese but it’s also consumed in Iran. We ate both dishes with warm naan. Here are the recipes I used.
1-1/2 cups dried chick peas
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, strained (I like mine very lemony so I used more)
1/4 cup tahini
Place chick peas in a large pot. Cover with water and let sit overnight. In the morning, drain the water. Return the beans to the pot. Cover with fresh water add salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Drain the beans, saving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. This seems like a lot of work, but trust me using dried beans instead of canned will taste sooooooooo much better.
Place the cooked beans in a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon, tahini, and 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Pulse. Add olive oil until a smooth paste is formed. Serve in a bowl as is, or with bread.
I like to drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle some paprika.
Note: Warm chickpeas are easier to handle than cold ones. Plus, warm hummus tastes amazing.
Here is the Tabbouleh recipe I used.
- 2 cps boiling water
- 1 cps bulgar wheat (I like mine with a lot less bulgar so I used about a 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh mint
- 4 ripe, medium size tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 5 TBS good olive oil
- Bring water to a boil
- add salt
- add bulgar
- let stand about 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed (if it’s not all absorbed drain through a fine sieve)
- fluff with fork and place in large bowl
- add parsley and mint leaves
- add tomatoes
- mix well
- combine olive oil and lemon juice
- wisk with fork and pour over bulgar mixture.
- fluff with fork and refrigerate at least 1 hour.