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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Check the Chick Peas

Every month at the new Daring Kitchen, we introduce new challenges. Often, recipe instructions are lengthy and detailed; they may seem clear to some participants but not everyone agrees. Confusion over weights, measures, phrases, ingredients and technique abound.

However, the forum provides ample opportunity to question and discuss the recipes. There are never any stupid questions and the quality of the communication always delights me. It's truly a global village since we come from different backgrounds and cultures. We are learning a whole new language and way of communicating.

Even among friends we have the same type of discussions.

We love chick peas in our house. The first time hummus was introduced to this family, it was a love affair. We had never heard of chick peas, never seen them, and had no idea what they could possibly be.

So I begged my friend for her hummus recipe. She gave me the following instructions... it's really quite simple, chick peas, garlic, tahini sauce...

... wait, Tahini?

Tahini was unfamiliar so she carefully explained ground sesame paste. The instructions were simple enough and I trotted off to find the ingredients.

Chick peas... check
Tahini....... check
Garlic....... check
Other stuff.. check

But it just didn't seem right so I called my good friend and asked "Do you cook your chick peas?"

Friend: "Cook? Why? You can heat them up if you want but I don't cook them.... "

Something is not right about this answer.

Me: "Listen, I trust you would not steer me wrong. You've made this before but I need to know... will it wreck my blender?"

Friend: "What are you putting into your hummus!?!?!"

Me: "Everything you said, chickpeas, garlic, tahini.... but the chick peas seem a little hard and I have to admit my blender is a bit of a wimp."

Friend: "Hard? That's odd, mine have been firm but never hard. You could microwave them for a minute but even a wimpy blender should be able to handle hummus. Add some water from the can."

Me: "Can? What can?"

Friend: "What? The can of chickpeas!"

Me: "They didn't come in a can but in a 2 kg bag."

Peals of laughter from the other end of the phone. After my friend wiped the tears from her eyes and had her snickering under control, I was informed that canned chickpeas were the easiest way to make hummus. However, since I was the proud owner of the biggest bag of chickpeas in the store, I would have the biggest batch of hummus she had ever seen.

I wish this were the end of the story but it isn't. Dry roasted chick peas are a great quick protein rich snack. Unfortunately, dry roasted and just dry chick peas look very similar.



Sweet Charity said...

Dang. I must admit though, I giggled.

Maggie said...

Too funny! I think the cooked from dry chickpeas taste much better but I'm too lazy and buy canned most of the time.

Baking Soda said...

Lol! Love the story (almost as much as when my mom called to ask why her mascarpone smelled so weird, luckily just before she combined it with cream for the tiramisu... she bought the blue cheese variety)

BC said...

Oh boy, blue cheese tiramisu - I can't imagine how that would taste!

Me! said...

Well now you have chickpeas to make lots and lots of hummus. It's not hummus but you could also do it with other beans or mix them. I have a few cans of beans in my pantry all the time just for this.

Lisa Michelle said...

Cute story! I really do love taking the time to soak dry chickpeas and make my hummus using those, but hey, sometimes the canned is needed! I can eat a pound of hummus with my fingers in no