I find myself sounding like a broken record, but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyways: Ramadan has been especially challenging for me this year. I could chalk it up to the scorching summer heat that has just about fully descended on us here in Abu Dhabi, or I could say that I’m getting “old” and my body just isn’t as resilient as it used to be (go ahead, I’m laughing with you) – but the truth is I’m not interested in analyzing the why’s and how’s of it. I’m simply observing how my mind and body are feeling, without judgement, criticism or disappointment in myself.
I initially set out to do a lot more than I have been able to achieve this year – but again, I’m totally okay with that. Maybe I haven’t been able to create as much content as I would’ve liked, follow through on my ambition to film some vlog-style videos (I struggle in front of the camera, there’s no two ways about it), but what I have been able to do is to hit the reset button when it comes to food, fitness and most importantly, spirituality and inner peace.
Those who know me in real life may not think of me as the most “conventional” of Muslims, and my spirituality and relationship with my religion continues to evolve in a fluid way as I inch further and further away from young adulthood. This Ramadan has given me an opportunity to really reflect on my spirituality and my values, to appreciate my body and be thankful for everything it’s enabled me to do, and to completely recalibrate my relationship with food, which admittedly I still struggle with from time to time.
And in the name of food, onwards to today’s recipe.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at red lentil hummus for quite sometime now, and I have to say I was truly astonished by the results – it tastes SO similar to the “real” thing!
Smooth, creamy and cumin-infused – this recipe is the perfect for you if you can’t tolerate chickpeas very well (although, if that’s the case, you also have my sincere condolences).
- 1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
- 1½ cups of water
- 1 small clove garlic
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- ½ cup water for thinning purposes
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- To a small pot, add the red lentils and 1½ cups of water. Bring to the boil on medium heat then lower to simmer and cover until lentils are cooked through and all the water has been absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.
- To a food processor or blender, add the cooked lentils, garlic clove, tahini, lemon juice, cumin powder, olive oil and 2 tbsp of water to start. Blend until smooth, adding water to thin as needed. Taste to adjust seasoning if needed.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Red lentil hummus tends to absorb a lot more water than regular hummus - if you're storing in the fridge and serving the next day, I recommend thinning it out with a little water and/or olive oil to return to original consistency
- Use this recipe as a hummus base - you could add grilled red peppers, chopped herbs, olives or steamed beetroot for different varieties.
Perfect with Arabic bread, pita chips, or crudités if you’re entertaining.
Pro-tip: it makes a great quick salad dressing thinned out with a little water in a shallow bowl.
Ps. If you aren’t already, follow my #VeganRamadan chronicles over on Instagram – there’s a whole highlight dedicated to what I’ve been cooking and eating this month (with a few helpful tips mixed in when I’ve had the energy to go on camera!).
Until next time, friends!