The moment we make decisions in life, we start expecting things to happen in a certain way. The same happens when we decide to make food. We start planning the dishes for dinner, write shopping lists and prepare ourselves for a certain outcome of taste and look. So far so good, but please: Be open for surprises. If the results don’t match with our expectations we usually feel like we failed. But you know what. Nobody gives a shit. And so shouldn’t you! Meditate on this for a second: What are your expectations usually based on? Maybe on previous experiences you had, or others had. That would mean you shut down the possibility of creating something new from the very beginning.
Can you imagine a taste you’ve never tasted before? If yes, good for you! Go create it. If not, even better: Now anything can happen! When I was working as a chef in a vegan restaurant we used to serve Hummus with every dish. I love making Hummus. I grew up with a turkish mediterranean grandmother who, of course, makes the best out of chickpeas and tahini. And sure I wanted to share this masterpiece of a middle-east basic. Due to regional differences in food it just never tasted like granny’s ‘one and only original Hummus’. So I ended up trying for weeks to get that taste from my childhood. I experimented with different types of olive oil, chickpea cooking time, and amount of lemon juice. I even blamed the food processor. After several Skype conferences with my beloved elder how to solve the problem, one day a frequent customer at the restaurant stuck his head through the kitchen window and said to me, “You know why your Hummus is the best? It tastes different every time I eat here.” If this isn’t a compliment, I don’t know what is. It inspired me also to make Red Velvet Hummus, Sweet Carrot Hummus, Pumpkin Hummus and Spicy Peanut Hummus – every time a little different!
Recipe: The one and only always-changing Hummus
2 cups of chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons of tahini
2-5 garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons Juice of fresh lemon or lime
Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Strain, rinse and cook them in water for 1-2 hours. The cooking time is really dependent on the chickpeas. Just try them from time to time, they shouldn’t be too overcooked. Strain again, but keep a little bit of the cooking water for later. Next step: Peeling off the skin. This requires some time and patience but if you find your peeling flow, you can turn this step into a beautiful meditation. Hold the chickpea between thumb and index finger and just squeeze it a little bit so you can remove the skin easily (That’s why we want them still “al dente”). After the chickpeas are ready for fusion, invite them for a little party in your blender, together with tahini, a few cloves of garlic, lemon or lime juice, pepper and/or cumin and a pinch of salt. Now blend, taste, add, blend, taste, add and so on until you taste and you just know, “This is it!”. Wait. You can bring a twist in taste just by sprinkling a mixture of heated olive oil and paprika powder. Oh yeah!