Monday, April 18, 2011

Curried Pumpkin Hummus: For Certain Tastes

In some ways, recipes are a lot like bands. There are many, like mac-n-cheese and the Beatles, that everybody loves. There are others, like liver-n-onions and Michael Bolton, that a bold few will admit to even liking. And finally, there are the rare recipes/bands that you dig with your whole heart, but know that only a few like-minded others will appreciate. Like Curried Pumpkin Hummus and Concrete Blonde.

Concrete Blonde was a late-80s/early-90s alt-rock group that boasted a frontwoman by the name of Johnette Napolitano, undoubtedly one of the greatest rock singers on Earth. Unfortunately, they had a tendency towards melodrama, and weren’t very adept at writing hooks. So CB had a huge hit, “Joey,” along with one or two smaller ones, and then pretty much disappeared. (Though, I do think they play occasional reunion shows.)

For me, Johnette’s voice - a husky, powerful, once-in-a-blue-moon instrument – usually trumped the band’s shortcomings. For others, "Joey" was the limit of their interest. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I loathed Led Zeppelin for many years before "Over the Hills and Far Away" overcame that last lingering antipathy. (Also, we saw Robert Plant at a Knicks game once, and it was awesome.)

And so it is with Curried Pumpkin Hummus, from Diane Morgan's Skinny Dips. I liked it, HOTUS was ambivalent, and I couldn't see my mom digging it at all.

First off, it's not a strict hummus. In fact, calling it Curried Pumpkin Chickpea Dip might be more accurate, since "hummus" usually connotes lemon and tahini. Second, the pumpkin is the dominant flavor, overwhelming both the honey (okay) and curry (say wha?). This appeals to me, but pumpkin pie haters, beware. Third and finally, it's atomic orange in hue, which could turn off less adventurous palettes. (On the other hands, kids might go nuts for it, and the dip is perfect for Halloween.)

So, there you have it. You might like CPH. You might not. Try it while listening to "Tomorrow, Wendy" and get back to me.


If this looks dang tasty, you might also enjoy:

Curried Pumpkin Hummus
Makes 11 servings of 1/4 cup each
From Skinny Dips by Diane Morgan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Heat oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add curry powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until everything is combined and fragrant, about 60 additional seconds. Add honey and stir until combined. Set aside.

2. In a food processor, puree chickpeas. Add pumpkin, ginger, salt, and garlic mixture. Puree. Adjust seasoning. Serve immediately or put in refrigerator so flavors can meld. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
72 calories, 2 g fat, 4 g fiber, 2 g protein, $0.27

NOTE: All nutritional calculations were provided by Diane Morgan. Only the price numbers are my own.

1 tablespoon olive oil: $0.10
2 cloves garlic, minced: $0.08
1 tablespoon curry powder: $0.11
1 1/2 tablespoon honey: $0.22
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed: $0.75
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix): $1.59
1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger: $0.10
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt: $0.02
TOTAL: $2.97

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MonsteRawr said...

Sounds yummy! What would you suggest dipping in it? I'll give this recipe a crack soon, thanks for sharing!

Kris said...

@MonsteRawr: You can't go wrong with pita chips, though celery was also quite lovely.

Claire Dawson said...

So, every time you hear about the Secretary of Homeland Security, do you hear Concrete Blonde in your head?

Not that I do. Ahem.

Jenna said...

In this instance, I'll admit to apparently being a middle of the road Beetles kinda gal.

Luckily, my husband appears to be very much a Concrete Blond - as he in into his second round of celery and this dip tonight, and I'm thinking about hiding the remainder so he has it for lunches this week!

Thanks for a new healthy snack for my lad.

Kathleen said...

Ok. This is the second recipe - I am going to have to go get this book.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I just bought this book, kind of on a whim...any other winning recipes you'd suggest from there?

mirbrewer said...

Johnette lovers unite! Guess I'll have to try this hummus recipe....

Donna Freedman said...

I can still hear "Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man." She did have a great voice. Wish they were still around.

Anonymous said...

Ack! This sounds so good, but apparently there's a canned pumpkin shortage? I had no idea. I've checked seven different places and none of them have any. Should I try a butternut squash puree or just wait until fall? I have no experience with subbing in squash, does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!

miriam said...

In the village of Abu Ghosh in Israel, they make Abu Ghosh salad/dip which is tahini and pumpkin. Less pumpkiny than this and one of the best foods on earth. It could be made with squash puree. You've inspired me ot try to recreate that recipe.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to post an update from 4/22 comment. Yes, this recipe works very well with butternut squash puree. When I first tasted the final product, I wasn't too sure about it, but after sitting in the fridge overnight it was delicious. Pairs well with celery and carrots, but also Wheatables Pecan Crisps (I in no way make money off of that product/company).