Recipe: Hummus the ayurveda way

I have always loved hummus. Here comes a fresh, rather light version of hummus that doesn't have any garlic in it. I feel better, when I eat this way, and it tastes wonderful. I prepared this hummus for a "White Dinner" event in Hamburg, that I am attending for the first time. Or not.

Recipe for hummus - the Ayurveda way

I have always had mixed feelings about events like these. I don't have a lot of white clothes and I dislike the idea of buying something just to fit within ridiculous rules someone made up for an event. The white dinner events (the original is from Paris) are non-political and uncommercial, so it's basically just about getting together, wearing something fancy, drinking something fancy and eating stuff. That's where my interest in the event comes in: I am joining it with a group of people who I don't know, but who all are part of the network Yumwe, where people meet to cook and have dinner together. So let's see: I am all curious and a little biased, but looking forward to the event.

I will bring a bottle of white wine, some bread that I'm going to pick up at a tiny French café around the corner, and hummus. If all goes according to plan, we'll also have dessert (by Ulrike), Sylt-style bread (according to google it's plain white bread), dip and olive oil (Hendrik), a summer salad and baguette (Rainer), Tarator soup (whatever that is) und Mini Quiches (Gerald), and a beet root salad and fruits (Sylke). I don't know any of those people (yet), and I wonder what Tarator soup is, and that's precisely what I like about the network. It's about meeting new people and eating new stuff.

I bought a nice white top that I will be wearing not just for the event, I don't have a white chair, I don't have any chair basically that I will be able to carry around on a bike, except for a little stool, so we'll see how that goes. I'll organize some candles and stuff to set the table and we'll take it from there I guess. I also love to improvise a little, too much planning just causes stress, because, technically, there's always something which does not go according to plan.

About the hummus: The freshness boost comes from coconut milk which, combined with the bell pepper puree, adds a nice, light flavor the hummus. It's not a light dish though, but by now I prefer the taste over the normal hummus recipes I know. I takes roughly 20-30 minutes to prepare the hummus if you buy chickpease in tins, otherwise, you need to soak and cook the chickpeas the evening before.

So far so good. 

When I arrived at Neumühlen all in white and with a stool on the back of my bike, there were already some white tables standing and people were busy decorating them. I did not see any table with white balloons as announced on the event's page, and suddenly, looking at those 10 or 20 tables, it seemed to me: Oh well, this is over. Some guy in France came up with the idea in 1988, now it's 50 people who don't want to see that it's over, and that you need to come up with something else. Compared to the images I had seen with parks and streets full of millions of tables and people all dressed in white, this looked nice, but also a little lost along side the Elbe river. 

As if my friend Ann-Katrin had felt my changing emotions towards the event, I received a whatsapp-message from here saying: “Bist du noch in HH? Wir grillen heute aufm Floß!“ Ann-Katrin and friends had built a raft as part of Kampnagel's summer fest. They had crossed the Elbe to protest for more rights for residents in the harbor area. The harbor, they say, is a habitat that residents should be allowed to shape according to their ideas, and not just the Hamburg Port Authority, who was blamed to act solely out of commercial interest. What can I say? It sounded so much better, and I had everything with me: Bread, hummus, a bottle of Riesling, a stool, so I cycled in the direction of the Honigfabrik in Wilhelmsburg, where the raft was anchoring.  This is the thing with plans: Sometimes you just need to go with the flow. 

I cycled from Neumühlen towards the old Elbe tunnel, put me, my bike and the stool into an elevator and went up to the other side of the Elbe river.

Next I followed the first bits of the way you can see here, just that I continued over the bridge where this person was turning towards the pedestrian underpass. Just imagine that's me with a stool on the back of my bike and tasty hummus in my bag:

Wilhelmsburg is not far, so all in all it took me 30 minutes to get there. I found the raft at the back side of a school building next to the Honigfabrik. The building is partly school, partly artist studios. I jumped on the raft and we began to fix a cord between the school building on the one side and the bar TurTur on the other side so that we could cross the river with the raft and pick up people from both sides of the river. We had a barbecue, although I must say that I probably was the only person interested in my hummus. The raft was all about location, location, location, food was merely a side issue. I drank a whole bottle of Riesling, which my stomach was not so happy about, and enjoyed the view and the people.

The atmosphere was chilled and fitting perfectly to this - perhaps - last summer day in Hamburg. I began dreaming of houseboats and wondered if I could imagine living at the other side of the Elbe river. Cycling back, in the evening, and taking a look at Hamburg from the other side, for sure this is beautiful:

View on Hamburg's Landungsbrücken from the other side of the Elbe river

Living on a houseboat in Hamburg is not so easy though. I have been dreaming about it before, and read stuff. So then maybe, a small trip to a barbecue on a raft, with tasty hummus, is a good compromise. You can enjoy your hummus also on a balcony, in a park, or wherever you feel comfortable. I, for example, enjoyed the rests I had taken home together with some cream cheese and tortillas.

Hummus the ayurveda way

What you need for ca. 2 cups of Hummus:

  • ca. 200 g garbanzos / chickpeas
  • A bit of olive oil
  • Asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 Tsp. cumin seeds
  • Half a red bell pepper
  • 2 Tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Some lemon juice if you want to
  • 3/4 cup cashews (roasted)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (ca. 180 ml)
  • 1 Tsp. Tahini
  • Some fresh parsley, minced
  • Some salt and pepper

Here's how you make the hummus:

  1. Chop the red bell pepper.
  2. Toast the cashews so that they are lightly browned.
  3. Heat a pan with olive oil, add the cumin seeds, ginger bits and a pinch of hing and sauté a bit. When the cumin seeds start to pop, add the red bell pepper bits and sauté until they have softened. Remove from the pan and let them cool down.
  4. Combine the coconut milk, toasted cashews in a blender.
  5. Add the bell pepper and spices mixture.
  6. Add bit by bit the chickpeas.
  7. I also added a little bit tahini (about a tea spoon).
  8. In the end, add some minced parsley and pepper and salt.

And you're done!