VEGAN HUMMUS MESABACHA + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (V+, ChF, GF, GrF, NF)

There are hundreds of thousands of food blogs out there. In fact, there's one source on the net which claims that there are over 2 million food blogs currently in existence. CRAZY, right!?! Yet, somehow I feel I've been lucky enough to find the right food blogs to get stuck into and get excited about. They aren't always the most well known (in fact I love 'discovering' blogs with smaller followings ;)), but the food blogs I read all have two key things in common:

1. They are about good, home-made, delicious, flavoursome food and
2. They are written by kind, thougtful bloggers whose voices I want to 'listen' to. 

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Ksenia's blog At The Immigrant's Table is one of those gems I am SO glad I stumbled upon at the very start of my blogging journey. In fact, this cake recipe here was inspired by one of her creations and our on-line friendship has continued to grow ever since I baked it. Hence, I was totally HONOURED when Ksenia asked me to review her first e-book - Middle Eastern Small Plates - which is inspired by her rich cultural Jewish heritage. The book consists of 11 finger food recipes, many of them vegan or paleo and all of them gluten-free and vegetarian; each dish is perfect for sociable get-together with friends and family. The book will be released on the 15th of April, 2016 and I can't tell you how excited I am for Ksenia as the e-book is so very clearly a labour of love.

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Image by Ksenia - At The Immigrant's Table

With 11 gorgeous recipes on offer it wasn't easy to choose what to make, but I have always wanted to learn how to prepare the ultimate, authentic hummus and Ksenia's recipe sounded lovely. You see, I've tried making hummus before, but it's often just been a dry mess or too lemony. You know what I mean? However, Ksenia's recipe didn't let me down and the hummus came out gorgeously creamy and utterly delicious, meaning I know I made the right decision :).

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! You'll be glad to heat that Ksenia is kindly giving away 1 copy of her e-book to a lucky readers :). All you need to do to enter the competition is comment below and tell me what your favourite appetizer is. But be quick, entry to this giveaway closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Monday, April 18th. The winner will be picked at random and notified within a week of the closing date. Importantly, this competition isn't restricted to UK residents, and instead is open WORLDWIDE. Good luck, I can't wait to read your answers! THE LUCKY WINNER IS NATALIA!

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Oh and before I forget, Ksenia is also very generously offering readers of The Little Plantation 15% off her e-book between the 11th and 18th of April, 2016. Just type in the discount code #LITTLEPLANTATIONLOVE at the checkout and you should be good to go. 

And finally, I just wanted to let you know that I've put together an exclusive Spring inspired salad recipe for Magnet Kitchen's IGNITE magazine. In fact, the salad would go really well with the hummus, so please do check it out if you have a chance ;). 

Thanks everyone for popping by and choosing to visit my little blog out of millions :). 

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VEGAN HUMMUS MESABACHA (V+, ChF, GF, GrF, NF)

This recipe is mildly adapted from Ksenia's e-book Middle Eastern Small Plates. 

Pre-preparation Time:
soaking chickpeas overnight
Preparation Time:
5-10 minutes
Cookin Time:
2 - 2.5 hours (see tips for suggestions on reducing this if need be)
Makes:
about 3-4 cups 

For the hummus:
1 cup (180g) chickpeas, soaked in water for 12 hours or overnight
1 whole onion, peeled
1/2 cup tahini
juice of 1-2 lemons
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
a sprinkle of paprika
chopped coriander or parsley
chopped dill (optional)
sesame seeds
oven roasted chickpeas (optional, see tips)

Serve with:
a fresh salad like the one you can find in here 
some pitta bread

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Instructions:

Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours or overnight in filtered water.

The next day, drain away the water and place the chickpeas, together with the peeled onion in a large pot and completely cover with fresh water. 
Bring to the boil, cover the pot and cook the chickpeas on a low heat, until they are completely soft. They should be at the point of falling apart at the lightest touch, which should take about 2 - 2.5 hours to achieve. If need be, add more water during the cooking process if the water dries up prematurely; the right quantity of water is key to achieving the right texture of the hummus afterwards.

Once cooked, please remove the chickpeas from the water and place in a separate bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of chickpeas and set aside to use as a garnish later. Then add the lemon juice, tahini, salt, pepper and garlic to the chickpeas in the bowl. With a handheld food blender, combine the ingredients until smooth and cream-like in texture. If need be, add some of the water in which the chickpeas were cooked. 

Serve warm and garnish with fresh coriander or parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. I also garnished the hummus with dill and sesame seeds for extra crunch.

As for the 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas - I roasted them briefly (20-25 minutes) in a marinade of olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar. This was, I must confess, for food photography purposes only and though utterly delicious, totally not necessary ;). The original recipe recommends just garnishing with the cooked chickpeas as is and for easy and authenticity, I'd suggest the same, especially if you're using the sesame seeds which already add crunch and texture. 

Tip 1: You can of course cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process. It's less authentic, but will make this recipe more achieveable as part of a quick mid-week meal.
Tip 2: To give it a Spring twist, serve the hummus with a salad, like the one in this magazine here, some olives and pitta bread.
Tip 3: The hummus keeps well in the firdge in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.

Looking for more dips? Then just click here to see if you can find what you're after.

Would you like to find out more about Ksenia and discover her blog? Then click here and cyberspace will take you to where you want to go.