After lot of thought and procrastination I finally decided that I should make a choice between work and joy. Joy won. During the past few years I felt lethargy creeping in every Monday and relief flowing in on Fridays. I’d look forward to weekends to indulge in cooking, photography and sharing things in this space, but since the last couple of years even this seemed to be turning into a chore. My boat was rocking, and for the first time in 6 years of blogging, in mid 2014, I felt that I had lost my balance. I tried to keep going, pushing myself. It took all my strength and left me sapped off energy on Mondays. I could see the lack of joy and inspiration in my hurried photographs. My day job was important to me but so is this space. It defines me. And rather than give up on my hobby, I chose to quit work.
So now, here I am. A full time food blogger available for food photography and ready to welcome new opportunities. I am still taking baby steps with renewed goals for life and that includes some changes in the blog itself. I do not know them yet for sure, but when I do, you will know too. Thank you for your emails and messages egging me to come back.
Some of you might remember Jr. H – my daughter. She has blossomed into a young woman and may now partner me in running this space. Please welcome Harsha – no longer junior. She is a film student and we are experimenting with food videos, with our limited space and resources. But it’s a start. I will let you know about the videos when they happen. Stay tuned.
While my head was buried in the sand (it was an expression a friend used for me once) during the last year a new discovery was rocking the vegan world – Aquafaba. Goose Wohlt found that the liquid left from cooking beans had the potential to be whipped, and displayed certain properties of egg whites. Harsha and I experimented with it last year with home cooked beans but it was a huge flop. I was busy with work and decided that I had better things to do. When I quit work, amongst the first things I did was buy canned chickpeas (organic, no salt) – weird for an Indian – and whip. The magic happened and I have been going around like a chickpea ninja. I have also been trying to whip up stiff peaks with liquid from home cooked chickpeas, and all this has left me with tub-loads of chickpeas. I share it with Shubhangi, and am forever trying different recipes with both the liquid and chickpeas.
One of the quickest dishes with well cooked chickpeas is hummus and I have made a lot of it these past few weeks. I dressed it with sumac, zaatar and other such Middle Eastern herbs and while searching for variations, came across Tara’s version of hummus with white miso. Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons is a very talented food blogger, cookbook author and photographer, and when I read her version I knew I would like it very much. Harsha has been dabbling with Oriental foods for sometime now and influencing me as well. It means that the fridge is stuffed. I had miso. I always have tahini. There was toasted sesame oil so I was set to make this version. It is a delightful, refreshing variation.
Recipe: Hummus with shinsho miso and microgreens
Based on a recipe by Tara O’Brady
Serves 2.5 cups approximately
- Sliced almonds – 1/4 cup
- Cooked chickpeas, liquid drained – 2 cups
- Well-stirred tahini – 1/4 cup
- Shinshu miso – 1/4 cup + more as per taste
- Garlic, peeled and smashed – 2 cloves
- Red pepper flakes, crushed – As per taste
- A vinegar of your choice (I used apple vinegar) – About 2 tbsps. + more as per taste
- Vegetable stock or water – 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup, cold
- Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted sesame oil / Olive oil, optional – 2 tbsps.
- Lots of microgreens for crunch and freshness
- Aosa (powdered seaweed)
- Fried garlic and almonds
- Process sliced almonds in a food processor to a fine meal. Add chickpeas and blend, stopping and scraping frequently, till crumbly and light.
- Add the rest of the ingredients starting with 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and process till the hummus is aerated and fluffy. I used some ice cubes along with the stock. The amount of water depends on the consistency of the cooked beans.
- I also dripped in some toasted sesame oil as the motor was running. Taste and check seasoning. Adjust as required.
- Let the hummus sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving, or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 3 days. Hummus can be served with breads, and anything stuffed. It makes a versatile spread.
- To garnish, heat a little olive oil, just enough to fry finely chopped garlic and sliced almonds. Pour over the hummus. Sprinkle aosa or powdered sea weed and microgreens. I used a lot of microgreens. They add crunch and freshness in each bite.
Do try the recipe and let me know how you feel about it. If you do share and tag.