Tag Archives: sumac

Hummus with cumin and garlic flatbreads

flatbreads with hummus

I get a huge amount of satisfaction making bread and these Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall flatbreads (recipe from River Cottage Veg Every Day) are a synch to make. Of course, you can nip to the local shop and buy a pack of flatbreads but these are so easy and are fun to watch bubble up and char on the griddle pan. Well, it’s the simple things in life that make me happy! I’ve used Hugh’s garlic infused oil with the addition of cumin seeds here but you could just use garlic or a sprinkling of sea salt flakes instead, particularly for the garlic shy out there.

The bonus of making your own hummus is you can tweak the balance of garlic, tahini, lemon and seasoning to your tastes. I don’t really like the taste of tinned chickpeas so I prefer to use dried but I appreciate you have to plan ahead so use a can of pre-cooked, if you like. You can use the water from the can to loosen up the mixture but you may not need as much as the recipe states for the dried variety.

Makes 8
30 minutes, plus 1-2 hours proving

250g plain white flour
250g strong white flour
1.5 tsp fine sea salt
Half tsp sugar
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil, plus extra for oiling
325ml warm water

Garlic oil
120ml olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp cumin seeds

200g cooked chickpeas
Juice of one lemon
2 crushed garlic cloves
6 tbsp tahini
1 tsp sumac (or paprika)
4-5 tbsp water
Pinch of sea salt to taste

1. Measure all your ingredients accurately using electric scales for bread making, even the water!

2. Mix both of the flours, salt and yeast in a big bowl – you don’t need to activate it separately in warm water as it’s quick yeast.

3. Add the oil and warm water and mix to a rough dough. Flour your hands a little and tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for about 5-10 minutes until smooth. I love kneading bread but I have a tiny small kitchen and limited work surface space so I sometimes use my dough hook attachments on my electric whisk to knead the dough in the bowl – much less mess! It should be a sticky dough so resist adding too much extra flour.

4. Form into a ball and put into a lightly oiled clean bowl. Cover lightly with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise and doubled in size – about 1.5-2 hours. I find cling film sticks to the dough so I just use a clean tea towel.

5. Meanwhile, make the garlic oil by adding the oil and garlic to a frying pan and place over a medium  heat. The idea is to remove the harsh edge from the garlic so you only need to heat up until it starts to sizzle. Remove immediately from the heat then pour into a bowl and then leave to cool and infuse for a few minutes. Dry toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan ready for sprinkling on later. Set aside.

6. For the hummus, it’s just a matter of adding all the ingredients to a food processor and whizzing together until nice and smooth. You may need to add a bit more water or lemon juice to get the right consistency. I like to add a sprinkle of sumac on my hummus to give a vibrant warm colour and spice but paprika is nice too.

7. Once the dough has risen up, carefully tip it out and knock it back by punching or poking (depending on what mood you’re in!) until it collapses. Cut in half with a dough scraper or sharp knife then cut each half into four equal size pieces. They should be about the size of a lemon.

8. Roll each ball out into rough circles, 2-3mm thick. You will need to flour your rolling pin as it’s quite sticky. Leave them to rest for 10 minutes while you heat up a heavy non-stick frying pan or griddle until smoking hot. Definitely get the extractor fan on and open a window for this part.

9. Lay one flatbread in your pan and cook for about 2 minutes until bubbly on top and brown patches underneath – burnt bits are good! Flip over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes with brown patches on the other side too. Remove and trickle with the oil and sprinkle with the cumin seeds, if using and set aside. Repeat with all the dough and cut into wedges to serve with the hummus.

Roast sumac carrot with tahini dressing

roast carrot sumac tahini dressing

Thanks to Ottolenghi, who I am a huge fan of, I discovered the Middle Eastern spice, sumac. A sprinkling of this vibrant coloured berry adds a tangy lemony flavour and gentle warmth to dishes. It goes particularly well with chicken, lamb, fish, aubergine, chickpeas and lentils. The colour apparently varies between deep red to dark purple depending on where the plant is grown but whatever the hue it looks particularly pretty speckled on food.

I love carrots raw and regularly have them with all sorts of dips like hummus. Today, I decide to roast them, which bring out the natural sweetness, and they also absorb spices exceedingly well. I served this simple carrot salad as part of a Middle Eastern veggie mezze with an aubergine, feta and pomegranate salad and mint couscous. But this would also make a tasty stand-alone lunch with, perhaps, some cherry tomatoes and feta thrown in.

Serves 2 as a side dish
15 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking

500g carrots
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 heaped tsp sumac
4-5 garlic cloves
Handful of flat leaf parsley
200g cooked chickpeas
Half tsp salt
Half orange, zest and juice

2 tbsp Greek or natural yogurt
1 tsp tahini
Half lemon, juice only
Salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven 180C / gas 4 / 350F.
  2. Add the oil, sumac, garlic and salt to a large bowl. Cut the carrots into roughly equal sizes and add to the bowl. Mix it all together, then spread out on a baking tray and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Cook for 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. Give them a shake half way through so they get caramelised all over.roast carrots
  3. Whilst cooking prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. When the carrots are golden and cooked through add them to a serving bowl. Leave to cool for a few minutes then add some chopped parsley, finely grated zest and juice of half an orange, chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil to loosen up if necessary.
  5. Set aside for half an hour to it cool down and let the flavours develop. When ready drizzle over the tahini dressing.roast carrot sumac tahini dressing