Dips, dips, dips

3 Mar

 We’re having some friends around for dinner tomorrow night, and both of them are vegetarian, with one of them also allergic to wheat and gluten products. So I’ve had my thinking cap on this week and many recipe websites open to get inspiration for a gluten-free, vegetarian dinner which tastes good and also pleases my meat –loving man, Dan. So I decided upon falafel, tabbouli, dips and marinated eggplant and zucchini. I knew I’d make a tzatziki. That was easy. With my fabulous home-made yoghurt maker, I make at least a litre of yoghurt every week. Using a starter culture of He Run sugar-free yoghurt, I add full cream milk and let it sit and brew overnight. Once it’s done it’s thing, I pop it into the fridge, where it cools down and sets a little bit.


So tzatziki was easy to make:

2 cups yoghurt

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 small cucumber, finely chopped

Sprinkle pink salt flakes (or any salt)

But to make the hummus I was left wondering…where to find tahini? The sesame paste was not easy to come by. A friend even went to the western supermarkets, where she reported “meiyou” (don’t have). I could have tried using the dark brown sesame paste I’ve seen in my Wu Mart, but I wasn’t sure if there was anything else in it that was wheat-based. I could have also bought pre-made from the western supermarkets, but had the same issue of not knowing what exactly was inside it. But I was able to find a packet of sesame seeds, which I ran through my blender with some olive oil. I was able to make a paste-type mix which I used for my tahini.


1 can chickpeas, plus some of the chickpea water

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp cumin

3 tbs tahini/sesame paste sauce

Lemon juice

Olive oil

I ran this all through the blender until it became a thick smooth paste. I think I may have put too much sesame paste in it, as Dan remarked it was “unlike any hummus I’ve tried, but it’s good”. For my first attempt at hummus ever, and also in China where it’s sometimes hard to come by ingredients, I was fairly impressed with this try, and can’t wait to eat it with falafel.


4 Responses to “Dips, dips, dips”

  1. Susan March 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Hey – you can get tahini from the Indian supermarket in Sanlitun, behind the Village and Yashow, beside the police station.

    • thehungrytravellers March 16, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      Oooh, thanks for that! I also saw it two days later at Sanyuanli market – they grind it fresh for you, as well as peanut butter with just peanuts and a little oil! yummmmmmm…

  2. Lia May 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Lovely Jess – what a fabulous blog! It’s so nice to be able to keep up with your adventures.

    I have an amazing hummous recipe which I make every few days and gobble up like nobody’s business – it’s very similar to yours, but with a few twists. Give it a crack and I promise you’ll be hooked.

    1 tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained (reserve 2 tbs water from the tin, and throw that in)
    1 clove garlic
    2 tbs tahini
    1 tbs ground cumin
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Generous pinch of salt
    Dry flaked chilli to taste

    Throw half the chickpeas, the water, and the oil in a blender (it gives a smoother consistency than a food processor). Blend until really smooth, then add all the other ingredients, and blend again. Enjoy! xx

    • thehungrytravellers May 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      Yum Lia! That sounds delicious! I love hummus and crave it here too. I should make some more – I’ll try your recipe and let you know how it turns out! Thanks xx

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