Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sesame, says me!

At an altitude of 1800 m in the Himalayas, the best kind of day is a sunny one spent in a yoga class talking about your favourite foods.

"A big juicy steak with lots and lots of butter and a jacket potato oozing with sour cream from every orifice.", I said foolishly, beaming as brightly as the sun on thinking about this treat, not realizing how silly / offesnsive I must have sounded to a class of 30 from all around the world who took their yoga (and of course, all the things that go hand in hand with traditional yoga such as ahimsa / non violence, and hence, vegetarianism) so seriously that they had travelled thousands of miles to India just to learn from a veritable Guru. And here I was telling them how I was missing meat. (And ironically, the question was a preamble to the class that followed, which was about non violence and vegetarianism.)

When it was Rammy's turn, the Israeli born medical student from UK said, "Tahini. It is so good for you and you can eat it with pita bread or vegetables or cookies or meat or even fruits. It's just like Peanut Butter, only much much better for you. And you can make hummus with it."

Rammy's a smart boy. And yes, he is right. Tahini is such miracle food, it should be everyone's favourite food.

Tahini is pure sesame seed butter, and it is so good for you because sesame seeds is a brilliant nut (oxymoron alert!) It is rich in manganese and magnesium and copper and calcium (hence making sesame seeds a smart thing to add to your diet if you are off dairy or are completely vegan) and phosphorous and zinc and a whole lotta other stuff that sounds so obscure they gotta be good for you.

I could write tomes to convince you about this because I take my science very seriously and I know everything there is to know about sesame seeds. Or you can trust me about it. 'EAT SESAME SEEDS.' Which roughly translates into 'EAT TAHINI'. Which roughly translates into 'MAKE THE HUMMUS BELOW AND EAT IT ALL UP'. (I wish I didn't have to yell and scream and kick and shout about this, but you're is worth it. L'oreal said so.)
Hummus is awesome with pita bread or naan bread or whole wheat bread or even cake bread and cookie bread (which are my favorites). You can dip carrot sticks or cucumber sticks or even your finger in it and eat it up and it's all very good.

Here's what you need to hunt for and gather.

16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice depending on preference
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish - Parsely / Paprika / Jasmine Flowers / Anything else that you fancy

1. Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can.

2. Blend all ingredients except the olive oil in food processor for 3 - 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas, until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

3. Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.

4. Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well.

5. Garnish with whatever rocks your socks (parsely and paprika are traditional garnishes for hummus) and start dipping!

Easy Peasy Shmeasy Cheesy.

While the aim is to finish off the hummus as quickly as you possibly can, hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Now listen to me again. Make hummus any time you get a craving for butter, mayonnaise, peanut butter cheese or  lemon meringue cupcakes (because this has lemon in it too, Einstein!). The kiteosystreiwormulidosiposis cells in your pancreas will thank you for it.

And listen to medical students like Rammy and me*. We know what is good for you better than you do. How do we know that, you ask? Because we know what is good for you better than you do.

As-salaam 'alaykum. (As they say in Hummus land.)

* I knew this question was coming because I am omniscient! You may argue that I am not really a medical student, but I will argue that I am, by telling you that a student is anyone who is learning a subject and that organized education is not the only way to learn as they would like to have you believe, and that I learn medicine by watching House MD. I know all about a lot of things including Vasculitis and Varfarin Induced Necrosis and Psittacosis and Sarcoidosis.

Case Closed.


  1. i love hummus !!! but someone told me its fattening - i mean the garbanzo beans in them are... and hence out it went from my regular diet! but i still love hummus!

  2. NO! Dont break my heart. Stupid diets are taking away all the meaning there is in my life! i am on the coconut diet now. I can eat anything I want as long as I drink three spoons of virgin coconut oil. It's working out well for me i think!

  3. really? i thought coconut oil made us fat! besides with all the controversy abt coconut oil causing heart-attacks, do u really wanna try this new diet ?

  4. I love hummus!!! We go through so much hummus every week! Thank you for sharing! And girl you have got me daydreaming about yoga class in the Himalayas! Sounds amazing!!!

  5. He he! Next time you come to Inida, you gotta do that. Check out 'Agama Yoga's' website.


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