Recipe – Bethany Kehdy’s Whipped Hummus with Lamb

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!

Whipped Hummus with Lamb
From The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy © Duncan Baird Publishers 2013, commissioned photography by Šárka Babická

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.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus soaking the chickpeas (optional)

Cooking time: 15 minutes, plus cooking the chickpeas until they are very soft (optional)


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

sea salt


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.

My version – a big thumbs up!

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.


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  1. This is such a classic, it appealed to me too when flipping through and then studying Bethany’s book! Must try this next 😉

    1. Ren Behan says:

      It is and I was also really taken by your squid dish x

  2. Liz Thomas says:

    I made this last night and it was really delicious. Didn’t have minced lamb but did have some lovely lamb fillets so I chopped them finely. Made double the recipe so more for tonight, Yipeee!!

    That book is now on my Amazon Wish List.

    Thanks and cheers!

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Perfect! I’ve had it before with small pieces of lamb, so pleased you were able to try it! Thanks for stopping by to let me know x

  3. This looks wonderful. The farmer who has sheep in the next field to us very kindly gave us some lamb at the weekend as a thank you for making pigeon scarers for his field of swede and I cooked it very slowly for hours so it pulled tenderly from the bone in flakes. The leftovers were enjoyed by us last night with houmous and flat bread funnily enough – minty yoghurt and a salad full of radish, parsley and mint too. But now I want to do it all over again as I’m craving the pomegranate and pine nut version. Wondering if this would work with lamb leftovers?

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Hi Andrea, I;m very sure it would. Just add lots of onion and garlic and then the pomegranate and allspice. Such a lovely dish in itself, I almost ate it all from the pan before it even got to the hummus! x

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Thank you Denise, it didn’t last long!

  4. What a wonderful way to turn hummus into something very special. The Vitamix must give the hummus such a perfect light texture too. Looks delicious to me!

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Hey Laura, the VItamix was interested – normally it would like a little more liquid and aside from the tahini and lemon juice, the mixture is quite dry to begin with. I had to give it all a little extra mix every now and again but the end result meant that it was super smooth and properly whipped! x

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Thank you GG! Hope you enjoy x

  5. I always used to add olive oil into my hummus until I read Ottolenghi’s recipe in Jerusalem. Leaving it out does seem to make a huge difference (in a good way) to taste and texture. It’s fantastic with meat – making this one for sure.

    1. Ren Behan says:

      Yes this hummus was really something else, and I love the title of the recipe. I have tried a version of this with small chunks of lamb, also good in place of minced lamb. The allspice added a wonderful dimension, too. x

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