Bethany Kehdy

A Champion of Middle Eastern Food & Recipes

Mad About Chickpeas – Hummus B’ Lahme

Hummus b Awarma

Hummus b Awarma

Once more, I will express my undying love for chickpeas: I Am M.A.D About Chickpeas! After all, how can one not succumb to such a delectable and pulsing love affair!

The chickpea, belonging to the protein food group, is such a versatile and wholesome leguminous pulse. You can make anything out of it; falafel, all kinds of hummus dips, veggie burgers, bread, and it’s also a perfect addition to stews, curries, salads… I could go on and on. And, if you needed any more reasons to love it; the chickpea has significant nutritional advantages since it is high in protein, a good source of  folic acid, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber. Because of its high source of fiber it is believed to help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels.

Hummus is perhaps the most popular way chickpeas are appreciated. In Lebanon and around the Middle East, there are numerous varieties of hummus.

Firstly, I think it’s important to know that hummus is the Arabic word referring to chickpeas with the word  hab, or grain, adding more specification. So, hummus is in fact the name of the actual chickpea. The dish is then elaborated on more, for example,  hummus b’ tahini which is the most widely known version of hummus and refers to the creamy, rich, velvety smooth version that includes Tahini.  Then there is also hummus balila, Hummus Beiruti, hummus awarma, hummus b’ lahme, fatet hummus, and so on.

Fat-tailed Sheep

As the big chill fell upon us, I found myself craving hummus b’ Awarma, which is  hummus b’ tahini with the addition of preserved lamb meat. My father makes his own awarma yearly by preserving the lean minced lamb meat in salt and a certain sheep fat obtained from the tail of fat-tailed sheep. Perhaps not the healthiest but absolutely scrumptious nonetheless.  So, I opened my cupboard only to realize the jar my father had sent last year was sitting there empty- reminding me to place my order. I had a craving that needed to be satiated quickly, so I made due with regular minced lamb.

Hummus b’ lahme can be served as part of a mezza or alone as a fulfilling, comfort meal with loads of warm Arabic bread. I love adding pine nuts for texture and crunch and finishing it off with a hint of pomegranate molasses really helps to add a beautiful zing to the meat.

Mad About Chickpeas - Hummus B' Lahme
  • 500g hummus b’ tahini
  • 250g lean minced lamb
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of duck/goose fat or butter
  • Fresh mint- optional
  1. Melt the fat in a saute pan over medium flame then add the onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes till soft and translucent. Then add the pine nuts and then the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring often.
  2. Quickly, add the mince meat and add the seven spices stirring continuously and till all the meat is loosened. Cook it for about 4-5 minutes and then add salt and pepper to taste. Finish it off with the pomegranate molasses.
  3. Spread the hummus b’ tahini on a serving dish
  4. And then cover with the lamb and chopped fresh mint.


48 thoughts on “Mad About Chickpeas – Hummus B’ Lahme

  1. Well all i can say is the wind in this part of the world has increased tenfold!….but its worth it. Lovin’ this

  2. I am so with you B ! I absolutely love chick peas, and always find myself adding them to any dish when possible, my latest was in a frittata with caramelized onions, mmm ! And hummus with lots of tahini is my fave. Love this post, makes me love chick peas even more. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

    Do you make your own Arabic bread to serve with? Would love to see that recipe too… Beautiful pics by the way, as always !

  3. Mmm.. This is one of my favorite breakfast meals! (yes breakfast), Of course, one shouldn’t forget the pickles, mint & Tomatoes on the side!

  4. Oooh both chick peas and lamb? My absolute favorites and this dish looks so extraordinarily delish! Love it! Breakfast? Really? Interesting, but I see that I could eat this anytime, anywhere!

    Congrats on the new blog! Wow! Truly dynamic you are!

  5. huge huge fan of humus b’lahme. it’s not easy to photograph white foods, your photos came out lovely. i also like humus the way an egyptian friend has taught me- chickpeas, olive oil and a dash of cumin powder. sometimes the tahineh is too strong for me (only sometimes!) best wishes, shayma

  6. Ooooh – I think I’m in love! Chickpeas are fantastically versatile ( I also serve thm instead of mashed potato – mashed with some slow-cooked sliced onions in lots of olive oil with amoky paprika). I like the etymology lesson too – I’m a sucker for words 🙂

  7. Congratulations on your new blog! I’ll head over to check it soon. In the meantime thanks for sharing the information on hummus! Who would have thought a chickpea could be so interesting. You managed to pull it off!

  8. Sighhh.. if this isn’t comfort food, I don’t know what is!! Add to that, home cured lamb… you lucky lucky thing :)) Does your dad sell them by any chance??

  9. You know what I’ll be making next as I have a huge bottle of Tahini, a rather large tin of chickpeas and some pomegranate molasses……Thanks for the inspiration!

    Congrats on the Nomad Telegraph……………it looks gorgeous. Wow!!!!!!!!

  10. Beth love hummus loads. I cud eat it with anything. Never tried it like this with minced lamb but have had it with diced lamb in restaurants. I definitely going to make this one. Your recipe looks really good.

  11. I don’t know if I love chickpea but I definitely like it! 🙂 I bought a glass of tahini couple of months ago to make hummus (aka hummus b’ tahini) at home but never did it. Now you inspired me to try it.
    Congrats of your new blog – wonderful!

  12. I’m with you – a serious lover of chickpeas.

    Hey, did you hear that feature on the BBC about the “row” over whose hummus is the best – Lebanese or Israeli?

    1. Hey Cynthia! Yes I did and I’ve actually been thinking about writing up a post on my thoughts on the whole thing…I think I will now.

  13. Very nice post! I must admit that I don’t know much about hummus, other than eating them once or twice at parties, but I really want to make something with them now.

  14. hi beth, the recipe from your link is very nice- but different than the one i am referring to. the hummus w/o tahineh she taught me involves whizzing the chickpeas and adding lemon, salt and cumin powder, that’s all. in fact claudia roden has the simple decription/recipe for it in her book, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. x shayma

  15. Oh my word, i am in Hummus heaven! Hummus is one of those things i can eat over and over again, and there is nothing like the home made stuff. I’m excited by the recipe for Hummus B’Lahme – the combination of lamb and pinenuts works so well. Those photos are great too.

  16. i love chickpeas too in almost any form and especially served with tahini! this with the meat looks great too and i can’t wait to get to dubai to start eating this stuff!

  17. This looks fabulous – I love pine nuts as well and I think it’s brilliant that you’ve added this to the hummus. And you have meat in it as well, could it get any better? 😛

  18. Shayma- sent ya an email x
    Grubworm- AMEN!
    Su-yin: it’s diiiiiivine! 🙂
    Deeba: I wanna hold youuuur haaaaand! XX

  19. I can see myself wiping this dish clean. I am a huge fan of Lebanese/Arabic food, and this is absolutely delcious ! The the kinda stuff that i love ! Awesome post, gr8 pictures I’m loving it !!!

  20. oh beth! ME TOO!! mad about chickpeas. i used to eat em outta the can just like that. lol.
    beautiful houmous. i like having houmous wraps or sandwiches. so yummy!

  21. I’m on a chick pea love fest at the moment. Too. I’ve been making a similar dish with pork mince served with rice. The lamb version sounds delicious.

  22. Just did a post about a wonderful Lebanese meal I had in Cairo and the hummus b’Lahme was delicious. I’ll have to try this recipe. FYI: added you to my blog roll!


    1. You can make it without pine nuts or you could alternatively use cashews or even sunflower seeds might work.

  23. I love your recipes and your blog. When I look in the old foodgawker archives and spot your name I dive into the recipe. Truly refreshing.
    Compliment: I love the fact that you follow the rule of placing the ingredients list in the order of use in the directions (as they SHOULD be).
    Complaint: From a totally anal recipe and cooking buff, the T in Tablespoon should be capitalized to further differentiate it from teaspoon. In the old days we only used the T or t in recipes and everyone knew what was meant. But hey, perfection in a recipe isn’t a substitute for the end result…and those are always perfection!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *