Tag Archives: chickpeas

balila hummus.

Remember my obsession with my neighborhood Lebanese restaurant? Seriously, I miss it already, and I haven’t even left yet. But one of the things I can take home with me is my newfound love of Lebanese food.

Along with the moussaka, this is our favorite tapas dish to order there. Whenever we order it, the owner always asks, “Do you know what this is? Because often people order it and are surprised when they get it.” Of course, at this point, we know what we’re getting. And it’s great.

It’s not your typical smooth, creamy hummus. Consider it hummus, deconstructed, and served warm. So basically, it’s a hot dip of mashed chickpeas, cumin, and toasted pine nuts. Sounds basic, but trust me, it’s awesome. We like to have potluck parties here, and my homemade version of this dip has become a staple. Serve it with warm pita and/or veggies, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Balila Hummus


  • 1 can chickpeas, undrained
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • juice of half a large lemon (or one small)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmery.
  2. Add garlic, and cook for about 10 seconds, stirring, before adding the cumin. Cook just until the garlic starts to brown (be careful not to burn it!), and add the chickpeas with liquid in the can. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, spray a small skillet with a bit of cooking oil. Add the pine nuts in a single layer, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until just browned. Remove immediately and put in a small bowl to the side.
  5. Once the liquid in the sauce pan has reduced a fair amount, add the parsley and the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and give a quick stir. Cook on low, covered, for just 1 minute more, and remove from heat.
  6. Using a fork, mash most of the chickpeas. You want to keep it chunky, so don’t go overboard, and leave some of the chickpeas completely whole. Put in a serving bowl, and stir in some of the pine nuts, sprinkling the rest on top.
  7. Serve with warm pita and fresh vegetables.

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Filed under Appetizers and Sides, Eat, Gluten Free, Snacks and Hors D'Ouevres

Chickpea Curry

This protein-happy dish is light, but tastes anything but. The curry spices compliment the veggies and chickpeas so well, and I like even throwing some tempeh into the mix for even more punch.

Chickpea Curry

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked, drained

1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, or 1.5 cups diced fresh tomatoes

1 cup chopped eggplant

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt and fresh pepper to taste

Tempeh (optional)

Spray a deep saucepan with a bit of cooking spray, and heat on high. Saute the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent. Add all of the spices, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and simmer, covered for at least 15 minutes, until the eggplant is cooked through. Add the chickpeas (and tempeh, if using) and let simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes, until all the flavors have blended.

Serve over brown rice, over a salad, or in a wrap… whatever you like!

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Filed under Eat