The world loves Mediterranean cuisine for its easy-to-make, delicious, nutritious salads, soups, and dips. The dip is a convenient way to add nutrition to meals and pairs well with healthy crackers or vegetables. Dips add flavor without unhealthy fats or extra calories. However, store-bought dips can be high in calories and sodium, so one should choose low-calorie, high-in-nutrition dips. Choosing homemade dips over store-bought is always a good idea if convenient. I often make White bean dip with za’atar and basil leaves. Za'atar blends Mediterranean spices, including sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, and sumac. It enhances the flavor of dips and provides various health benefits. Za'atar is rich in antioxidants, supports immunity, and promotes gut health. I also add a few basil leaves to the dip. Basil's taste is slightly peppery and sweet, making it an excellent addition to the dip. Its essential oils provide a distinctive aroma and flavor and are thought to possess anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can enhance one's health. I use cannellini beans for the dip, but white beans like navy beans or lima beans work well. I soaked and boiled the beans to make the dip. You can use canned white beans and rinse them with water before use.
Preparation Time - 15
Cooking time – 7-8 mins +soaking time
Total time- 23-24 mins +soaking time
Cannellini beans – ½ cup (raw)
Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
Garlic- 2 pods
Olive oil- 1 Tbsp
Lemon juice- 1 Tbsp
Basil leaves- 10
Red chili flakes-1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt- as per taste
1. Soak the beans in water for 7-8 hours or overnight.
2. Pressure cook the bean till it gets soft. If you use an instant pot, cook the beans for 7 mins on pressure cooking mode. In a pressure cooker, cook the beans till five whistles. Let it sit for 20 mins to cool it down. If you use canned beans, rinse them thoroughly with fresh water to eliminate excess sodium.
3. Add beans, tahini, lemon juice, basil leaves, garlic, Za'atar and salt to the blender or food processor and pulse it to a smooth mixture.
4. Drizzle olive oil ,Za'atar and chili flakes, and enjoy with your favorite veggies and crackers.