Hummus lovers unite!
I have tried numerous kinds of hummus over the years, adding different vegetables (like beetroot), spices and aromatics to the classic, just-chickpeas version, and it never disappoints. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with even more combinations with great results and of course I plan to share those versions of hummus with you here.
Hummus is so versatile and so easy to whip up, literally, and it pairs beautifully with just about anything; seafood, meats, cooked and raw vegetables, or just straight up with a good loaf of crusty bread, toasted or not, with homemade pita, especially the Greek kind, with barley rusks or even with plain crackers.
This time, I decided to add fresh pumpkin to my hummus and some fresh, fiery, red chilli pepper to spice it up, as well as some ground cumin and cinnamon to make it more aromatic. I paired it with sumac-roasted pumpkin seeds that I sprinkled on top for extra crunch and fresh pomegranate seeds for color, tangy sweetness and freshness. It’s very creamy, utterly delicious and I hope you enjoy it too.
Pumpkin hummus with fresh chilli
It’s the best mezes to serve at a dinner or lunch, the perfect office snack paired with crunchy vegetables for dipping (cucumber, pepper, carrots) and if you are fasting during this period of Lent, it’s also Lenten-appropriate.
If you are daring, you can add some fresh Thai chilli that is way hotter than the regular red chilli pepper I used.
I used the classic, orange-colored pumpkin but you can also use butternut squash or kabocha squash.
Yield: enough for 6 people as an appetizer
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cumin
150 g peeled fresh pumpkin, cut into 2 cm pieces
220 g cooked (boiled) chickpeas (see here how to make them), or canned chickpeas, rinsed well and drained (but keep the chickpea juices!!)
50 g tahini
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground white pepper
About 100 ml (7 Tbsp) chickpea juice (from homemade or canned chickpeas)
Sumac-roasted pumpkin seeds, to serve (see the recipe here)
Pomegranate seeds, to serve
Special equipment: large food processor
In a wide frying pan, add the olive oil and heat over a medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the shallots and fry for 1 minute until soft. Add the garlic, the chilli pepper, the cinnamon and the cumin and fry for 1 minute stirring continuously, being careful not to burn the garlic or the hummus will have a bitter taste. Then add the pumpkin, a little salt and 2 Tbsp hot water and cook gently over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Once ready, transfer all the contents of the pan to a plate and allow to cool.
In the food processor, add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, a little white pepper and the chickpea juice and process until smooth. Add the cooled down pumpkin and process again until you have a smooth and creamy hummus. Give it a taste and add more lemon juice if needed and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt.
Serve topped with sumac-roasted pumpkin seeds, a few pomegranate seeds and a good drizzle of olive oil.
You can keep it in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving and stir it very well with a spoon or spatula to make it creamy and to fluff it up.