in which the Biebs turns 17 and we celebrate with hummus

Yesterday marked an important turning point for two individuals: Justin Bieber crept one year closer to being legal, and my dear friend — we’ll call him “The Mrs.” — attained the exulted age of legal + 11. If you don’t know who the former is, clearly you’re living under a rock inside a sensory deprivation tank in a cave in Outer Mongolia. If you don’t know who the latter is, well you should’ve come to the party, shouldn’t you? It was OFF DA HOOOOOOK. I spent the evening being maybe just a little bit too loud, but in an endearing way I’m sure.

So we celebrated, with Biebs tattoos, enthusiastic dancing (ok, that was just me), and this glorious hummus. I wanted a dip that was more filling and less heart-attacky than a dairy-based dip, but retained the flavah… and this hummus turned out to be up to the job. As with most dips, the amounts are all somewhat loose — so I’ve provided general measurements here, erring on the skimpy side. Taste and adjust and add as you go!

Belieber Curry Hummus
…one less lonely chickpea

You’ll need a blender/immersion blender/food processor for this (or a potato masher and a lot of pent-up rage). Beware — my last blender suffered an overheated and untimely death at the hands of a too-thick hummus. The poor little motor just couldn’t cope. So, if you’re using a blender let’s be sure we’re not overheating the poor child. You can do this by making sure you’re adding enough liquid.

We start by assembling into your chosen food-mashing machine:

  • 1 can (about 16 oz) chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans — if you’re concerned about your blender’s strength, just toss the whole can in there without draining them, weird bean liquid and all. This will make for a smoother, more liquidy hummus, but it will also maintain your healthy relationship with blendy.
  • 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste) — I start with this much but usually end up adding more, the more you add the “nuttier” it is.
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp curry power — this depends a lot on how spicy your curry is, or what kind of tolerance you and your co-eaters have for curry. I put much more than this.
  • 1 tsp salt

Now turn that blender on and call that meeting to order. If it’s too thick, slowly pour in olive oil to lighten the load. Now taste it. You’ll probably want to add more of everything. Go for it. There are no rules here. When you’re happy with the flavour, pour it into your serving bowl, drizzle it with:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Then sprinkle on:

  • paprika, to taste

And now devour it. You can go the traditional pita bread route* or you can dip in any veggie your heart desires: sweet peas (my personal favourite), carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, on and on. By the end of last night I was dipping in blue-cheese-and-buffalo-wing potato chips, and that was delicious too. So the possibilities are endless.

* if your pitas are stale (personally I feel as though all the pita I get at the grocery store is stale since I used to live next to a Lebanese bakery), you can cut them into triangles and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. It’s not necessary, but you can brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary/basil/garlic powder/etc if you’re feeling fancy. Toss them in the oven for a few minutes on 400 degrees — and voila, pita chips! Watch them carefully while they bake… otherwise your kitchen fills with smoke and you have to go running into the hall of your apartment building wearing only sweatpants and a bra to retrieve a fire extinguisher. And then your apartment smells like charred pita for days. (Hypothetical situation.)

As seems to be the theme these days, I have no hummus photo because we dove into it too quickly/I forgot. So here’s some birthday joy/friendlove to sate your appetite:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

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