I was acquainted with the incredible world of hummus far too late in life. Creamy textured chickpea puree with garlic and lemon – what were there not to love about this paste that could be slathered on plunged into with bread or crudités.
It was then an even more watershed moment occurred when hummus and spiced minced lamb was thrust under my nose at Emma’s snackbar in Enmore. I remembered the flavour and textures but forgot the name until I saw it in Yotam Ottolenghi’s book – Jerusalem. My dad had purchased the book and vowed to create something in it. I’m not sure if he did or not, but when I asked if I could borrow the book has was happy to lend it to me (I still have it now)!
When served with toasted Turkish bread, the silky tahini-hommus and infused spiced lamb is reminiscent of the spice route caravans. The garlic-lemon sauce cuts through all the richness and pomegranate molasses laced over the whole dish gives that sweet-tart note. It’s varied and unusual and I’m confident you’ll love it.
This recipe is based on Yotam’s version, except it uses a few customised tweaks.
To this day, it’s my go-to dish to create for family and friends. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Hummus with spiced lamb (Kawarma)
Hummus store-bought “Yummi” Brand (1kg tub) of course you can make it but “I ain’t got no time for that” – not for $7 per kilo.
Spiced Lamb (Kawarma)
500 g lamb mince
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoon ghee (or oil)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
Play around with the quantities of spice, amping it up if you prefer something really intense.
20 g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed (can be transferred to spiced lamb if softer garlic taste is preferred)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (for the dressing)
To make the Spiced Lamb (kawarma)
Heat pan with ghee and fry lamb, garlic, add white and black peppers, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano. Fry well. Add white wine vinegar and mint, parsley. Salt to taste.
Mince can be made ahead of time and reheated.
Plate up hummus leaving a slight hollow in the centre.
Spoon the warm kawarma into the hollow and scatter pinenuts. Drizzle generously with the lemon sauce and pomegranate molasses.