Today is a hummus day! I love it soooo much. And it is so quick to make that I only very occasionally get the store bought one anymore (some days you just have to).
I prefer to make hummus with freshly cooked chickpeas. What I usually do is soak a big batch of chickpeas overnight and cook them in the pressure cooker the next day. I love the Silampos pressure cooker that my dad got me at the local market here in Portugal (it’s a Portuguese brand) and I use it practically every day! It’s so much quicker! I cook enough at once to make a curry and have some leftover to make hummus…
You can of course use canned or tinned chickpeas (there are those days as well), but make sure you use organic chickpeas. It may be silly but I order these online as the only chickpeas you can get here in the shops are non-organic (or ridiculously expensive).
Here is a great spicy Ayurvedic hummus recipe.
Hummus Ayurvedic qualities and energetics
Traditionally hummus is based on chickpeas which we know are hard to digest so we need to add some spices! The second important ingredient of hummus is sesame paste (tahini). Sesame seeds are sattvic in nature and Vata decreasing. And that is the beauty of hummus: because we add sesame paste, plenty of spices and oil it is much easier to digest the chickpeas. So from an Ayurvedic perspective hummus makes total sense!
From an Ayurvedic perspective hummus makes total sense!
Chickpeas, as all beans, are Vata increasing, Pitta and Kapha decreasing. Their rasa (taste) is sweet and aftertaste (Vipaka) is pungent. The energetics of chickpeas (Virya) is cooling. Chickpeas are a great source of iron, calcium and potassium and Vitamin A.
Tahini is sesame paste. Sesame seeds (til) are sweet (rasa), Vata decreasing, Pitta and Kapha increasing. Sesame seeds are a sattvic food. So more goodness to add to the hummus! You can get some organic tahini here.
Garlic is a medicinal food and regarded as tamasic in ayurveda. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it! It helps (among many other benefits) with gas and indigestion so here it is good to add garlic.
Too much garlic can cause Pitta imbalances and mental dullness (which is why it is usually avoided in yogic circles but as with all foods it has its time and place).
Garlic (Rasonam) literally means ‘lacking one taste’, meaning it has all of the 6 tastes except one: the sour taste is missing. It is mainly pungent in rasa and is pungent as well in vipaka. Garlic is Pitta increasing and Vata and Kapha decreasing.
Harissa is a Moroccan style red bell pepper and chili paste with garlic, oil, caraway seeds and coriander. If you don’t have harissa in the house substitute with a mixture of chili and paprika powder. The reason I add it here is to have some ‘punch’ as we are going into spring and Kapha will be aggravating. If you have Pitta imbalances you can leave it out.
Read more: Kapha balancing in winter
I add turmeric for its beautiful colour and health properties. I actually use double strength turmeric powder but be sure to add black pepper as that is what will increase the bio-availability of the turmeric.
Adding a squeeze of lemon juice means your hummus has all the 6 tastes in it for optimal balance.
All these additions make that you can enjoy hummus every day if you want to. And be honest, who doesn’t?? ;-)
Read more: Fragrant Kapha balancing pumpkin soup
Read more: 4 ayurvedic tea blends (that you have in your cupboard)
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