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Hummus – Three Ways

Tahini sauce is great to have with grilled meats and fish but it is also the base for many kinds of Hummus-like dips.

The classic Hummus is made with puréed chickpeas but there are many other great substitutions one can make. Add tahini sauce to puréed carrot, beetroot, avocado and butterbean, roasted pumpkin…these make for a great addition to any mezze plate as they add rich flavours and colours to the meal.

Serves 6, as part of a mezze or light starter

In two separate pots, boil the carrots and beetroots until tender, leave to cool and peel the beetroots.Separately purée the chickpeas, carrots and beetroots (I recommend you do the beetroot last ) until very smooth. Keep each purée in a separate bowl.To make the tahini sauce, crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt to make a fine paste.Add the tahini paste to the garlic along with the lemon juice. As you mix this in the tahini paste will seize up and become very stiff.Loosen the paste by adding little amounts of the water and oil, incorporating each addition well before adding the next one.Taste and season accordingly.

Add a third of the tahini sauce to each of the purées.

Garnish with a little ground cumin and chopped coriander.

Serve with warm pitta bread or better still, homemade flat breads.

If you do not have a pestle and mortar, chop the garlic as fine as you can and sprinkle a good pinch of maldon over the top. Using the side of a wide knife (a Chinese cleaver is ideal for this) rub the garlic and salt hard into the chopping board. Gather up your crushed garlic and repeat the process a few times until you have a fine paste. 275g of chickpeas is roughly one tin of chickpeas, drained.You may need to alter the quantities of lemon, garlic and oil in order to reach a good balance of flavours. One flavour should not dominate over the others.