Whether you make your own or buy from the store, it's easy to make your hummus more of a meal with this easy hummus with lamb recipe. The warm spices make the topping so tasty!
This post may contain affiliate links, where we earn from qualifying purchases. See more details in the policy page.
It's funny to think that hummus wasn't always so widely known. These days, of course, you'll find it everywhere, but I remember when you could only get it in a few ethnic restaurants.
That said, I remember going to a Middle Eastern restaurant in Edinburgh with my sister many years ago and instantly falling for hummus kawarma. I've always loved lamb anyway, but cooking the lamb with warm spices and putting it on top of creamy hummus was such a great combination.
I've had the dish a number of times since, but for whatever reason it's still not that common outside of the Middle East. Maybe restaurants still assume we won't be that adventurous, or there are just too many other tasty dishes to add to the menu they cut back on a few. Either way, all the more reason to make this at home.
What is hummus kawarma?
Hummus kawarma is the Lebanese name for hummus with lamb on top. In Israel, hummus basar is the name for topping it with ground meat, though beef is more common. Personally, I think the lamb flavor works better, but you could substitute beef if you prefer.
You cook the lamb with warm spices and it makes for a delicious scoop on your bread having the flavorful lamb along with the smooth hummus.
The exact topping can vary, but it's pretty common to also add some toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley, as I have here. Some versions use pieces of lamb, marinade them then cut into small pieces, but I have stuck with the quicker method of using ground lamb.
How to make hummus with lamb
- If you're making your own hummus, put everything in food processor and blend, adding water as needed tog et right texture.
- Toast the pine nuts and chop the parsley and set aside.
- Soften the onion in a skillet then add the ground lamb and spices. Cook until evenly browned.
- Put the hummus in a dish and make a slight indent in the middle. Add the lamb mixture and top with pine nuts and parsley.
Other ways to serve hummus
In Israel and other neighboring countries, hummus is often considered more of a meal rather than just an appetizer. Different toppings are also popular and come in many shapes and sizes. Other toppings to try include:
- Cooked fava beans (like ful medames)
- Fried or roasted eggplant
- Whole chickpeas
- Hard boiled eggs
- Tahini paste (sesame)
- Sauteed mushrooms
- As shakshuka hummus
This hummus with lamb is an easy way to add more flavor to hummus, whether homemade or store bought, and make it that bit more substantial too. Warm spices and delicious flavors you'll be happy to scoop up!
Looking to make this into a mezze meal? Try these other dishes too:
- Kisir (Turkish bulgar salad)
- Baba ghanoush (eggplant dip/spread
- Muhamarra (red pepper and walnut dip/spread)
- Pomegranate tabbouleh
- Plus get more ideas in the Israeli and Middle Eastern recipes archives.
Hummus kawarma (hummus with lamb)
For the hummus (if making own)
- 15.5 oz chick peas 440g, 1 can
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 lemon juice only - around 2 tbsp
- 1 clove garlic small, finely chopped
For the topping
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- ¼ red onion
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ lb ground lamb 250g lamb mince
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cardamon
- ½ tbsp chopped parsley
If making hummus
- Drain the chickpeas and pick over them to remove any loose casings. Put the chickpeas in a food processor along with the oil, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add some water, a tablespoon at a time, to thin to desired consistency (you will probably need 2 or 3).
To make rest of dish
- Put the hummus in a serving dish, making a slight indent in the middle.
- Dry toast the pine nuts in a small skillet/frying pan until lightly brown then set aside.
- Finely dice the onion. Warm the oil in the skillet then add the onion and soften. Add a little more oil if needed to save it burning.
- Add the lamb to the skillet along with the spices (cinnamon, allspice, cumin and cardamon). Cook over a medium-high heat until browned, breaking up a little and stirring regularly.
- Put the lamb on top of the hummus, sprinkle over the pine nuts and parsley and a drizzle of EVOO then serve with pita bread.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.