Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration

Posted by: 41253

Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 12:31 PM

I enjoy chickpea mush with lots of different adjuncts such as tahini, peanuts, various spices,... They all seem to dehydrate and rehydrate pretty well, at least for short-term storage. On a recent trip I used some Indian spice from the grocery store labelled "Spice for Garam Masala" and before dehydrating is had a very nice flavor. On the trail it was still satisfying but lacked a lot of the spice flavour. It seems that much of the aromatic quality doesn't survive a hot dehydrator. As an experiment, I made some more mush but left the spice out before dehydrating. I then took some to work for lunch and added fresh spice along with hot water. It was much better. This also seems like a good way to mix up meals on a trip, with neutral mush and different flavor packets -- sort of like Ramen.
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 01:34 PM

I've used Garam Masala spice in cooked lentils and it seemed to survive dehydrating pretty well. I dehydrate vegetables at a relatively low temperature, say 125 F. Adding herbs and spices, even salt, at the time of cooking / rehydration gives a stronger flavor.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 04:16 PM

First, I definitely agree that dehydration/rehydration can result in loss of aromatics and flavors. I think it is a great idea to add the flavor/spices after you dehydrate. And, as you mentioned, it's a great way to add variety.

Second, I used to buy a lot of spices from the Indian grocery stores, because the prices are sooo much better. But, I have found that the spices are not as flavorful. It could be due to age or improper handling, but I think its mostly due to diluted product. Whether intentional or due to manufacturing process I think a lot of Indian spices have other things in them.

Lastly by "chickpea mush", I am assuming your are referring to a dish of course mashed chickpeas? If you like it pretty finely mushed, then you could just use Gram/Garbanzo/Chickpea flour and cut out dehydration altogether.
Posted by: 41253

Re: Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 05:36 PM

I have a cheap dehydrator with no controls, a lower temperature probably would preserve things better as the first responder said and allow the benefit of flavors developing and mixing as they cook.

My "mush" started out as an experiment in drying hummus which had a lot more stuff it it and is worth making from scratch when eaten fresh. I've experimented with drying leftover home made pizza sauce but have never managed to rehydrate any because it tastes so good in fruit leather form.

You're right, though, if I'm just going to bring basic ingredients the flour you mention would be easier.
Posted by: bobito9

Re: Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 05:56 PM

That sounds like an interesting and tasty approach, but I don't see any advantage to drying with the spices in it, it's easy and light enough to just bring some spice with you. You could likely improve the flavor by also bringing olive oil or ghee with you to add to your dish on the trail: lots of richness and calories with a good calories-to-weight ratio.
On a simpler note, I usually bring ready-made instant hummous that I get at the health food store. Nile Spice makes it, but I usually get it in the bulk section. Requires only water, but much better with a tablespoon of olive oil added, or olives or cukes if I'm not worrying about weight.
It's such a light weight, nutritious, and easy thing to use that I have wondered if I could mix a little of it into other dishes for flavor, like couscous or something. If anyone has suggestions for vegetarian meals using instant hummous, I'd be interested to hear. But homemade chickpeas plain sound great to use.
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Chickpea mush, adding spices after deyhdration - 04/17/16 06:40 PM

I started out with a cheap round American Harvest dehydrator, but gave in and bought a 5 tray LEM dehydrator a couple of years ago. My only regret is that LEM doesn't sell extra plastic trays. Most of the Excalibur grids and sheets will work with it, but the trays are just a bit too large. It's handy to have a few extra trays.