When I’m being good I meal prep for the week ahead, and I nearly always make a large batch of hummus for the week. While hummus is good as a mezze, or to dip things in, it can also be the star of the meal – add a little seasoned meat, sprinkle on some pine nuts, and voila! Your hummus is now a main course. This is the perfect weeknight dinner when I’m busy and don’t have time or energy to cook something elaborate. Serve this alongside some warm khubz / pita bread (store bought or homemade) and a salad and you have a complete meal. My husband would eat this every night of the week if I made it for him, honestly – though he prefers his with rice, specifically riz bi sh’arieh (rice with vermicelli).
The meat is mixed with baharat, or Lebanese seven spice seasoning. This can either be purchased at the store, or ground at home (recipe here). This warm spice blend perfectly complements the meat, but it works just as well on meat analogues if you’re vegetarian or wishing to cut down on your meat consumption (I’ve actually made this with Beyond Meat’s meatless crumbles with good results!) You can also absolutely use store-bought hummus if you’re in a pinch (no judgment from this similarly busy person!) but if you’re feeling adventurous I’ve also included my basic hummus recipe below.
We like a little spice, so we’ve sprinkled a touch of Aleppo pepper on at the end – but you can also include a half teaspoon or so when cooking the meat if you want more heat.
Hummus bil Lahme
- 2 cups hummus bi tahini (see recipe below)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, very finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 pound ground mincemeat: lamb, beef, or bison (450g)
- 1 Tbsp baharat (Lebanese seven spice)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- In a large frying pan, over medium heat, add olive oil. Finely chop your onion and add it to the hot oil. Slowly cook the onion until soft and lightly caramelised, stirring occasionally – about 15 minutes. Add your garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
- In another small pan over medium heat toast your pine nuts until golden brown and fragrant, you can do this with or without oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the garlic has softened add your baharat and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a minute, until fragrant. Add your mincemeat and salt, turn the heat to medium-high, and saute until all the meat is fully cooked. Remove from heat.
- On a large serving plate, scoop your hummus and create a slight 'well' in the center. Scoop the hot mincemeat into the center. Sprinkle pine nuts on top and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately, or shortly thereafter at room temperature.
Hummus Bi Tahini
- Food Processor (Large)
- 16 ounces dried chickpeas I recommend Palouse brand
- water to cover
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
-or- Tinned Chickpeas
- 2 15 ounce tins chickpeas
- water to cover
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
For the Hummus
- juice of 2 lemons
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- ⅓ to ½ cup good tahini (don't use the Joyva stuff here)
- ¼ cup aquafaba (chickpea cooking water)
- 30 ounces cooked, peeled chickpeas – room temperature or cool (listed above)
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 Tbsp olive oil plus more, for serving
- sprinkle za'atar for serving (optional)
- sprinkle sumac for serving (optional)
- sprinkle cumin for serving (optional)
- handful chopped parsley for serving (optional)
- Soak chickpeas in water overnight, or for at least 8-10 hours.
- Drain soaking water, add fresh water to cover (by about 2") plus salt and baking soda
- Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to medium – simmering for at least one hour, until all chickpeas are soft. You will want to skim any rising skins from the top of the pot as you go. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Once chickpeas are fully cooked, drain (remembering to reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid) and cool – then rub the chickpeas together in a bowl of cool water to remove any remaining skins. Set aside.
-or- Tinned Chickpeas:
- Pour chickpeas in a pot liquid and all and cover with water, add salt and baking soda.
- Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to medium for 15-20 minutes or so – skimming any skins that rise to the top of the pot.
- Drain and cool – then rub the chickpeas together in a bowl of cool water to remove any remaining skins. Set aside.
Making Your Hummus:
- Peel and finely chop 6-8 garlic cloves (depending on size, taste) and place in your food processor bowl. Add the juice of two lemons. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the garlic to mellow. After 10 minutes blend thoroughly.
- Add your tahini, then blend again – adding aquafaba (chickpea water) until it is a thick creamy consistency. Once fully blended, add your chickpeas, salt, and cumin.
- You cannot overblend this, so run the processor until it is smooth, then slowly drizzle in your olive oil while the machine is still running. Blend again until the mixture is super smooth and creamy.
- If the mixture is too thick, you can add more aquafaba (chickpea water) if needed.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of parsley, za'atar, cumin, sumac, Aleppo pepper, or harissa – whatever your heart's desire!