I don’t know about you guys but I am in desperate need of some colour. It’s mid april and the weather in Holland is still rainy, windy and cold and I’m about to loose my mind!!! Appart from missing the sun I am also really longing for the fresh and pretty colours of flowering blossoms and young green leaves on the trees. It’s all so drap and a bit uninspiring to be honest. So I took to my kitchen and made the brightest, most colourful thing I could think of. Beetroot hummus.
They say never change a winning team and the classical hummus made with chickpeas, tahini and coriander is certainly delicious in it’s own right. But add some crimson red beetroot and it is like seeing the humble pumpkin in cinderella’s fairy tale turn into a diamond studded luxury carriage. Depending on the degree of pigmentation in your beetroot the hummus will turn a beautiful deep red, bright fuschia or even a regal purple. And it will taste earthy but still fresh because of the lemon juice in it.
Besides it being gorgeous to behold and wonderful to munch this hummus is also perfect for kapha’s since chickpeas and beetroot are two ingredients that kapha’s do well on. Early spring, with it’s humidity (think of spring showers) and the lingering heaviness of late winter being Kapha season this recipe ticks all the right boxes. Chickpeas can be quite hard to digest because they have a really high amount of fibre. So it’s important to cook the chickpeas really well and spice your hummus to help your digestive fire along. I make sure to add lots of cumin, garlic, ginger and black pepper liberally to mine.
In Ayurveda chickpeas fall in the category of astringent foods (as do all beans) which is an excellent taste for balancing Kapha. Because of the inherent smoothness that the spread gets from being whizzed up in the food processor you only need a tiny bit of olive oil. Making it an even better option for Kapha’s who don’t need much fat. Beets are said to be cleansing for the blood and liver both in Ayurveda and the Western world. They promote menstruation and regulate menopause. They can be lightly laxative eaten in large quantities so Pitta’s should keep this in mind. Since they have a naturally high burning agni (digestive fire) and can suffer from diarrhea easier than the other two types. This hummus is perfect for Kapha and Pitta. Vata can have it on occasion and when their agni is functioning very smoothly. A better Vata option would be to replace the chickpeas with adzuki beans which are easier to digest for Vata. The tahini however is especially good for Vata because the oil in sesame seeds is one of the most balancing oils for Vata.
The sight of hummus always makes me dream of the mediterrean so I made a couple more sunny dishes to go with it. All the bits and pieces together made for a beautiful mezze plate (well, quite a bit bigger than mezze to be honest…) that brought a smile to my face and consisted of all 6 tastes that are so important in Ayurveda. The accompaniments included roasted pumpkin with za’atar, a ball of very young goats cheese, stir fried spinach with lemon zest and pomegranate, coconut dhal with yoghurt and cumin seeds and couscous with chili avocado cubes. The black specks you see on the hummus in the picture is hawaian black salt that I bought at a fancy pancy spice shop in Paris last spring. It not only looks classy but also has a delicious not too salty but very mineral taste that lifted the hummus to even higher fairy tale standards. If you can find some use it but than go easy on the salt when preparing your hummus in the food processor.
Now, I by no means am smug enough to even pretend I came up with this recipe. I think I must have seen some version of this hummus in countless cookbooks and on many a food blog. But I’ve been making it for so long now that is feels a little bit like my own. So here goes my version.
Red beetroot hummus
- 200 grams cooked organic chickpeas drained and rinsed. (Of course home cooked tastes better but from a tin is fine when pressed for time)
- 200 grams red beetroot
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- a little slice of peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- a drizzle of olive oil
- 1 or 2 heaped tablespoons of tahini (to taste)
- lemon juice to taste
Cook the beetroot for about 30 to 40 minutes in plenty of soft boiling water. You should easily be able to pierce a small knife all the way to the center of the beetroot but you still want it to remain a bit firm. When the beetroot is cooked let it cool just enough for you to be able to handle it without scorching yourself. Now peel away the skin using your thumbs. Yes, you will have red fingers for the day but hé no pain no gain right! Chop up roughly and add to a food processor together with all other ingredients. Pulse until very smooth and add some more olive oil to make a smooth paste if necessary. Season to taste with salt and plenty of black pepper. Garnish with black salt.