e all know and love our hummus especially in England as it lines the shelves in various delicious and odd disguises (Marmite hummus now exists…discuss). This though. This Middle Eastern theatrical version takes it to the next level! Its hard to resist the look of it with a file of warm freshly baked flatbreads and a glass of something cold…
A simple (super speedy) way to ‘pimp’ your hummus if you have some guests round as a nibble with drinks or as a great sharing starter (are we allowed to share food during a pandemic!?).
You can of course use a packet of hummus from the shop if you don’t want to make your own but it really takes seconds (blender permitting) and doesn’t contain half as much oil.
Makes 1 large dish to share
Serve with some lovely toasted pitta or some homemade flatbreads (see here for my recipe) for scooping up all those lovely lamb juices!
- 1 can chickpeas – I use Napolina as they are the best canned version, creamy and large. I find supermarket versions like little chickpea bullets and won’t give you a creamy hummus
- 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 small red chilli
- 1.5 tbsp spice mix (see below) OR add in some spices of your choosing. Or, leave off if you want a more authentic hummus
- Extra virgin/rapeseed oil
- Minced lamb (about 300g)
- 1 heaped tsp each ground cumin, coriander, spice mix, smoked paparika
- Pinch chilli flakes
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- Handful dill/parsely, chopped
- Handful pine nuts
- Put the chickpeas, juice of 1 lemon, tahini, garlic, chilli and spice mix in a blender and add some salt and pepper. Add a good few tbsp’s of good oil and blend well. Add a splash of boiling water to thin this down to your desired consistency (you can also add more oil but I don’t like to make my hummus too oily when water works just fine and helps emulsify).
- Blend until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan on high and lightly toast your pine nuts until golden. Remove and set aside.
- Add splash of olive/vegetable oil to the pan and lightly soften your chopped shallot for a few minutes.
- Turn up the heat and add the minced lamb, using a fork to break it down into pieces. Fry quickly until turning nice and brown and then add your ground spices, chilli flakes, cinnamon and some generous salt and pepper.
- Mix well and fry until the lamb is just cooked (taste and adjust seasoning with more spices/S&P) and then remove from the heat so it doesn’t dry out.
- Spoon your hummus onto a nice shallow bowl or plate making a slight well in the middle.
- Top with your lamb and scatter with your fresh herbs and pines nuts.
- Serve drizzled with some good oil, the juice of the 1/2 lemon and with some lovely warm pillowy flat breads or pitta for scooping!
Spice Mix – I make a batch of this and keep in a jar. Made by toasting 1 tbsp each of the following and then grinding in a pestle and mortar: fennel seed, cumin seed, coriander seed, fenugreek and mustard seed with 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cardamon pods and 1 star anise.