Monday, February 1, 2010

Hummus with Cinnamon Lamb (Houmous bil erfeh lahem)

Somehow I have never made hummus before.  I always have it in the fridge and I go through phases where I eat Tribe's jalapeno hummus by the truckload.  I absolutely love spicy hummus - the spicier the better.  Why have plain old hummus when you can spice it up?  

That was the rationale behind trying out this hummus recipe.  It had a fascinating sounding list of spices and ingredients - cinnamon, garlic, red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, parsley, lamb and evoo?  Yum.  And this recipe totally lives up to its promise.  The interplay between the spices and the freshness of the lemon and parsley make for a very unique and seriously delicious mouthful.  This was the first recipe I have ever tried from this cookbook (after literally bookmarking dozens of them to try), and I am totally going back for more.  I love street food!

Recipe after the jump!

Hummus with Cinnamon Lamb (Houmous bil erfeh lahem)
Adapted from Street Food:  Exploring the World's Most Authentic Tastes
By Tom Kime

2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp evoo
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 lb ground lamb
1 tsp ground cinnamon
chopped toasted walnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)

In a food processor, combine the rinsed chickpeas with the garlic, red chili flakes and 2 tbsp evoo.  Process until almost smooth.  It will appear rather dry.  Using a spatula, push mixture down into bottom of processor bowl before adding cayenne pepper, parsley and lemon juice.  Season with s&p.  Pulse food processor to combine.  Add yogurt.  With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 2 tbsp evoo in a thin, steady stream until you have a smooth light paste.  Transfer hummus into a bowl and create a well in the center.

Heat frying pan over medium-high heat, add a little oil, and brown the lamb.  When lamb is almost browned, sprinkle with cinnamon, and season well with s&p.  Stir to combine.  Spoon the lamb into the well in the hummus, and sprinkle with extra chopped parsley.  If desired, garnish with chopped nuts.

Serve with toasted pita triangles.

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