Creamy Spicy Hummus and Paprika Pita Chips
This fall has been really tough (and we know the same goes for many of you). Long hours at the office, plus we’re looking for a new place to move into… it’s been really exhausting!
So, we had to “escape” to Evia for a couple of days, to enjoy the garden and take a breath (click here to learn more about the place)! The fall is already transforming the place, with green, yellow and red colors. Some of the summer plants are still productive (like the peppers and the eggplants), because of the mild September. But the weather hasn’t been that warm in the last week; it started raining and it seems that a temperature drop is just around the corner.
Panos’ parents have already planted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, spinach, lettuce, arugula and other greens. Walking between the rows of the vegetables and the trees and simply looking at them is enough to take all the stress away!
A well in the garden and the surrounding area
Since we were tired, we didn’t want to cook something fancy that would take long. We wanted to enjoy a tasty and healthy snack. That’s why we made a delicious hummus with some pita chips on the side. Hummus is not a usual spread/dip here in Greece. Even though we love garbanzo beans AND all types of spreads, hummus is an unknown dip to most people here. Perhaps the reason is the variety of the other available spreads, like skordalia (garlic spread), tzatziki (yogurt-garlic condiment), fava (split pea pudding), pepper dips (like this one), pantzarosalata (beets and yogurt spread), taramosalata (cod roe spread), melitzanosalata (eggplant spread) and many many more.
The oranges are still green, but the eggplants are loaded with produce
This hummus is also NOT a traditional one; the classic hummus has tahini (which isn’t one of our favorite ingredients to work with). Ours is a creamy hummus with Greek yogurt and spices! The yogurt makes this spread smoother and the taste of the garbanzo beans milder. In order to make it more interesting, we added some of our favorite Indian spices: turmeric, garam masala and smoked paprika! If you can’t find garam masala, don’t worry, you can make this at home and use it in stews, dips and countless other foods. We have the instructions under the list of ingredients.
The best part is that this dip is also healthy since four of the key ingredients are the Greek yogurt, the garbanzo beans, the turmeric and the olive oil! So, this is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and nutritious, vitamin-rich food! Did we tell you that it’s also gluten free? Yep! Just skip the next part, which is the pita chips and choose a gluten free alternative ;)
Panos with our “nephews”, Bruno on the left and Melita on the right.
For the pita chips we used a type of pita we call “Arabic” here in Greece. They’re very similar to Naan and are used in bakeries, as an alternative to tortilla wraps. They’re served in grill houses, stuffed with gyros, souvlaki and other meats and veggies. If you can’t find thin pitas abroad, then you can use any type of pitas you prefer like pocket-less pitas. If they’re thicker, simply bake them a bit more, until they’re crunchy.
We made a simple mix with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika in order to add flavor to the chips. We brushed the pitas with this mix (just one side of them), cut them in triangle wedges and baked them for 12 minutes. The result was amazing; they were the perfect “vessel” to scoop the hummus off the plate!
One more fantastic thing about this recipe is that you can make this ahead. In fact, you SHOULD make this ahead, to allow the flavors to develop. If you make this hummus a day before, it’ll be much tastier and the texture will be better as well! So, if you’re having people over, or you want a healthy snack when you’re watching sports or your favorite TV show/movie, go ahead and try this one out! We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!
The magic moment
So let’s see to make this delicious treat!
For the pitas:
- 4 medium sized (or 2 large) thin Middle Eastern style pitas*
- 60ml (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika (preferably smoked)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* if you can’t find thin pitas then use tortillas instead. You can also use Naan or Greek style pitas (for souvlaki and gyros). The Greek pitas are a bit thicker and they’ll need to bake for a few more minutes.
For the hummus:
- 500gr / 17oz / 1lb cooked or canned chickpeas*
- 200gr / 7oz Greek yogurt
- 60ml (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala **
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked)
- 60ml (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
*if using dry chickpeas you will need about 220gr / 8oz / 0.5lb (about 1 cup). Soak them in cold water overnight. The next day, drain and let them simmer in 8 cups of water (2lt) for 1,5-2 hours, until they’re soft. You can also cook them for 25-30 minutes in a pressure cooker, to save time and energy!
** You can make your own garam masala (it’s very easy). Mix: 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Store in sealed container in a dry place.
Add all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl (pic. 1). Whisk for a few seconds (pic. 2).
Brush each pita bread (just one side) with the mix from the bowl (pic. 3). Stack each oiled pita on top of the others.Hold the pitas and cut them into 8 triangle shaped wedges (pic.4).
Arrange the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet (pic. 5). Bake in preheated oven at 200 C / 390 F for 12-15 minutes, until they’re crispy. Preferably, use the oven fan setting. Remove and set aside to cool, for a few minutes. Very easy, wasn’t it? Let’s move on to the hummus now.
Hummus: Drain the cooked garbanzo beans and add them in a food processor. Add the lemon juice (pic. 6).
Add the olive oil (pic. 7). Pulse for a few seconds to get a thick, smooth result. Empty the food processor’s contents in a large bowl and add the Greek yogurt, the garlic, the turmeric, the paprika, the garam masala, a little salt and pepper (pic. 8).
Stir with a large spoon until all the ingredients are blended. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to develop.
Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the pita chips! Deee-licious!Kali Oreksi!
1. This is the perfect appetizer/snack if you have people over. Plus, it’s healthy!
2. it’s better if you make the hummus in the previous day. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge. The next day, it will taste even greater!
3. You can store the pita chips in a sealed container like a cookie box and serve them in the next day as well.