Sunday, November 24, 2013

dn's Sweet Potato Hummus

Last month, during our Canadian Thanksgiving, I sampled a store bought "Sweet Potato Hummus" at a family gathering. I was surprised at how delicious it was and decided to try and duplicate the recipe.

As usual, I found numerous versions online. Most were quite similar with slight variations in the spices and quantities. The recipe that I finally decided to use as a base starter for my version is from Betty Crocker

I adjusted the tahini and spice quantities downwards. Tahini can make a recipe bitter if you add to much. I also felt that the spices called for would be a little too overpowering and I didn't want something quite as spicy as this sounded. I also added more garlic and the zest of the lemon as it brings extra flavour.

The first time I made this recipe, I used Tahini. I always have cumin in the spice cupboard and had recently bought some of the spices - smoked paprika, coriander and sea salt at a local bulk food store to try in some other recipes, so I was pretty much ready to give it a test.

It smelled delicious but the taste was even better! The flavour was smoky and not overpoweringly hot or spicy. I only gave it a quick taste that first day as many recipes suggested that the flavours needed time to blend and recommended refrigerating overnight before serving. They were right! It was even better the second day!

I took some to a couple of friends for sampling - along with some of my homemadepita chips and a few celery sticks. I received this message later that day: " OMG that dip should be served at restaurants!"

I tried the recipe again this past week. This time, I used cashews rather than tahini. I wasn't sure about the quantity of cashews but guessed at 1/2 cup. It worked perfectly! The other thing I did differently this second time, was saving the liquid from the baked sweet potatoes to re-add in place of any additional water needed at the end of the processing. I measured the liquid that I added to the raw sweet potatoes so that whatever liquid was left over would be concentrated and loaded with the flavour from the sweet potatoes. It would therefore add to the overall flavour - not dilute it like plain water would.

I gave samples of the dip (along with some homemade pita chips) to several people to try. They all thought it was YUMMY!! One of the people admitted they really weren't a fan of sweet potatoes but was willing to give it a try given that they liked the other ingredients. I talked with them a couple days later and they said they were surprised at how delicious this was! They really liked it and wouldn't have known it was sweet potato if I hadn't told them!

Sweet Potatoes and Yams are readily available at very reasonable prices during the autumn and winter months, so why not take advantage and try a new recipe!? Sweet Potato Hummus is a great addition to your holiday gathering or any time of year!

So here is my version of "Sweet Potato Hummus" You choose whether to use tahini or cashews!

dn's Sweet Potato Hummus   
1 orange-fleshed sweet potato (about 1 lb/454g)
1 lemon
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chick peas, drained, rinsed
1 1/2 Tablespoons tahini OR 1/2 cup cashews
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 - 4 Tablespoons water - as needed
 Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in an oven proof dish and add 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bake in 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. Allow to cool slightly. 

Drain the excess liquid into a small bowl and reserve. If you pre-weighed the sweet potato you don't have to bother measuring by cup - otherwise mash and measure to know how much you really have. You should get approx 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups.

Zest the lemon then juice, removing seeds. You should get about 1/4 cup lemon juice.

Add the cooled sweet potatoes, zest, lemon juice, chick peas, tahini/cashews (either or - NOT both!) garlic, sea salt, smoked paprika, coriander and cumin to a food processor. Cover and pulse a few times then blend till smooth (about 2-3 minutes), stopping to wipe down the sides a couple times. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 Tablespoon at a time - processing in between each to thoroughly combine till desired consistency. (Note that the amount of liquid/water needed will vary depending on the amount of sweet potato and lemon juice added.)  
Transfer to a sealable container and chill several hours or overnight before serving to allow the flavours to blend. Serve with pita chips and raw veggies. Makes about 3 cups.

- When I made this, I used part of a sweet potato as the ones I had were well over a pound. The piece I cut off, was about 19 oz/540g so I ended up with a bit over 1 1/2 cups when mashed.
- Baking the sweet potato in a covered dish gives it a nicer richer flavour than boiling or microwaving it. Well worth the extra time to do it in the oven!
- If your sweet potato weighs less or measures less once mashed, you may want to reduce the spices just a smidgen - i.e. scant measures rather than the full ones listed, This of course, depends on how spicy you like things! You can always add more spice but you can't take it out once it is in so give it a taste to make sure before adding more!
- When I zest a lemon, I go pretty much to the white flesh with my zester so get quite a bit more zest than most people do.
- Cut back a bit on the salt if you use salted cashews.
- Also, I believe something would be lost in the flavour if you used sweet paprika rather than the smoky variety.



No comments: