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Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Hummus Bi Tahini (With Roasted Carrots)

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Hummus Bi Tahini (With Roasted Carrots)
(Photo: Hein van Tonder @heinstirred)

This recipe for roasted carrot-infused hummus features in Cape Town cook Sophia Lindop’s latest book, ‘going home – Food and Stories from Lebanon, the Land of my Forefathers’ (Annake Müller Publishing). Cooking neophyte Dominique Herman spent a morning a couple of years ago on one of Lindop’s Lebanese cookery courses.

Sophia Lindop explores the culinary and cultural delights of Lebanon in her recently released cookbook, going home.

Despite having done my fair share of cookery courses, I remain all but useless in the kitchen. And, yet, I persevere – most recently at the regularly oversubscribed Lebanese culinary jolly that my friend Sophia Lindop runs in her home in Bergvliet on Saturday mornings.

I wasn’t surprised to be put largely on chopping duty for the tabbouleh (Sophia knows my abilities all too well), but I was rather surprised that the Lebanese ambassador to South Africa turned up a few hours later to eat said tabbouleh. More on that shortly.

Instructed to chop the parsley roughly, I duly did as told, only too relieved that it would take an even more elevated lack of skill than mine to balls that up. “Last week it was chopped too finely and I don’t think it works well in the tabbouleh like that,” Sophia said. I subsequently discovered I might be something of an excellent prep cook, if chopping parsley roughly is the extent of the job.

Stabbing a handful of aubergines all over so they could be baked in the pizza oven ahead of being mashed into moutabal (baba ghanouj) was perturbingly pleasurable: definitely the most satisfying encounter I’ve had with a vegetable.

Several hivelike hours later, the table laden with our collective efforts and the Chateau Musar uncorked (Lebanon’s best-known wine producer), the part that I am convinced most people enrol in cookery courses for – the meal – commenced.

The ambassador, who looks like a movie star playing the role of an ambassador, bolted up to serve the fatayer (triangular pies) to everyone around the table as he didn’t want to be “rude” and fetch a couple only for himself.

A good cook, as far as he was concerned, was judged on the merits of his or her hummus. As he repeatedly ladled dollops onto his plate of the roasted carrot-infused hummus bi tahini that someone else had prepared, I vowed silently to add carrot-roasting and chickpea-blending to my parsley chopping/aubergine-stabbing repertoire.

Ingredients

Serves 8 to 10 (makes about 2 cupfuls)

6 to 8 medium carrots (and a little olive oil and Maldon salt to roast)

400 g can of chickpeas (240 g drained)

3 large cloves garlic, crushed

120 g tahini

60 ml fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp ground cumin

60 ml olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Peel the carrots and cut them into smaller chunks if necessary. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Drain the chickpeas, retaining some of the liquid, and place in a food processor. Peel the garlic and add to the chickpeas, along with the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, oil and carrots and blend to a smooth purée, adding some of the liquid, a drizzle at a time, to get a smooth consistency. If need be, you can add a little cold water to get to the correct consistency.

Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve on a mezze platter. DM/TGIFood

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