Yesterday I wrote about a stunning new book by Bethany Kehdy called The Jewelled Kitchen and today, as promised, I’m sharing a recipe I made from the book called Whipped Hummus with Lamb. I very nearly made the Spiced Naked Sausages from the Mezze section, but at the last minute the children asked for hummus and so it was that I made this recipe instead. The recipe is in two parts – the hummus, made with either dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and cooked) or canned chickpeas, which is what I used. I used my Vitamix machine, but you could use a standard food processor. The second part is the cooked lamb. Adding the lamb is optional, but cooked with onion, garlic, pine nuts, pomegranate molasses and a pinch of allspice you won’t be able to resist those heady, Arabic smells. Grab some warm flat bread, drizzle with olive oil and dig in!
Recipe extracted with permission from The Jewelled Kitchen © Bethany Kehdy 2013 published by Duncan Baird Publishers, London
Whipped Hummus with Lamb
Hummus means chickpea in Arabic. This is a great blank canvas recipe for the simple hummus b tahini dip everyone is now familiar with (see steps 1–4). Adding lamb or preserved meat (awarma) is one serving option which is traditional in the Levant, but feel free to omit the lamb topping or allow your imagination to take over. Olive oil is not an ingredient used to make whipped hummus and is only used as a garnish.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus soaking the chickpeas (optional)
Cooking time: 15 minutes, plus cooking the chickpeas until they are very soft (optional)
FOR THE HUMMUS
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra if needed
100g/31/2oz/1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked (see page 215) or 200g/7oz/1 cup tinned chickpeas
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 small ice cubes
a pinch of ground allspice
FOR THE LAMB
15g/1/2oz salted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
85g/3oz minced lamb
11/2 tsp pomegranate molasses
a pinch of ground allspice
pomegranate seeds (see page 216), to sprinkle
chopped mint leaves, to sprinkle
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
warm Arabic Bread (see page 217)
or Toasted Triangles (see page 49)
1 To make the hummus, put the tahini, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl and mix until well incorporated.
2 Drain the chickpeas, then immediately loosen their skins by rinsing them under cold running water several times. Cover the chickpeas with water and swish them with your hands several times to loosen any more skins. Discard any of the loose skins. Drain the chickpeas again.
3 Immediately transfer the drained chickpeas and the garlic to a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds. Add an ice cube to the chickpea mixture and pulse again until it’s incorporated, then repeat with the remaining two ice cubes until a smooth paste is formed.
4 Pour in the tahini and lemon mixture and pulse again until it forms a smooth, well-blended purée. Add the allspice and season to taste with salt, then pulse once more for about 1 minute until all is well incorporated. If the hummus is too thick, add a little more lemon juice and/or water (being careful not to dilute the zesty flavours). Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, cover and set aside.
5 To make the lamb mixture, melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the pine nuts and cook for a further 2 minutes until they just start to brown.
6 Add the garlic to the pan and mix well, then cook for about 1 minute until aromatic. Add the lamb and stir well, then cook for no more than 3–4 minutes, until just browned. Pour the pomegranate molasses over the lamb mixture, stir in the allspice and season with salt and pepper.
7 Create a crater in the middle of the hummus and spoon the hot meat and any juices into the well. Sprinkle the lamb with pomegranate seeds and mint and serve with warm Arabic Bread.
With many thanks to Bethany and Duncan Baird Publishers for allowing me to share this recipe with you as part of The Jewelled Kitchen virtual book launch.