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Author Notes: Roasted pumpkin is my favourite way to eat pumpkin. Slow roasting really brings out its mild sweetness and the bold hit of harissa counters that perfectly in this recipe.
I like to use dried chickpeas in my hummus, not just because of the inferior quality of the tinned stuff you find here in Chennai (also, chock full of preservatives), but because the dried beans give it a better, almost slightly nuttier flavour. Quick tip here: if you have a pressure cooker, that’s ideal to cook the chickpeas in. If not, use a teaspoon of bi-carb (per 500 g of dried chickpeas) to the soaking water. The rationale behind this method I am unable to fathom, but it’s a trick for getting them to cook faster. It really works.
With so few ingredients, it’s imperative to get the flavours right. Make sure to add the ingredients gradually until the spiciness of the harissa and the acidity from the lemon juice work for your palate. Taste, taste, taste as you go along.
Skinning the chickpeas is not absolutely necessary, but definitely contributes to the smoothness of the hummus. It takes 10 minutes tops to do them all and I would highly recommend it.
* The measurements for the harissa might vary based on what brand you use. Either way, add a little bit of harissa to roast your pumpkin with, and add more to the hummus while blending if needed.
This hummus freezes well for up to one month. Leave to thaw in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.
—Kirthana | Theblurrylime
Makes 1 1/4 cups
For the hummus:
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 250 grams pumpkin, cubed
- 3/4 teaspoon harissa paste* (read note above)
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil (plus more for roasting pumpkin)
- 2 small cloves of garlic or 1 large one
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Chopped parsley and mint
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of paprika
- Preheat oven to 180 C/360 F and line a baking tray with foil. Toss the pumpkin pieces with harissa and a good drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until soft in the middle and lightly browned on top. Set aside.
- Toss the sesame seeds in a dry pan and toast them until lightly coloured. Add to a blender with garlic and olive oil and blend to a fine paste. Add the roasted pumpkin, chickpeas, ground cumin, ground coriander, sesame oil, salt, and lemon juice and blend again until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Decant into a bowl, swirl the top with the back of a spoon and sprinkle on the toppings. Pour a good glug of olive oil on top and serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for When You Want It to Feel Like Fall