Broad bean hummous

Serves 4-6 or 8 as a mezze
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This is a lovely fresh version of the classic chickpea hummous. It's a great dish to make in spring or summer when there are lots of broad beans around, or you could cheat and use frozen at any time of year and no one will know the difference.

There's no need to take the skins off the beans, but some decent flat bread to serve with the dip does make all the difference. To make it more than just a dip, I suggest you make a broad bean relish to go with it. You could also eat both these broad bean dishes with, say, barbecued lamb chops or fillets.

for the broad bean relish

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
30g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2tsp ground cumin
75ml extra virgin olive oil
200g shelled weight of fresh or frozen broad beans
1tsp tomato purée
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
100ml water
Half a lemon, pips removed
Salt and pepper
1tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
1tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Gently cook the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger and cumin slowly in the olive oil without colouring until soft. Add the broad beans, tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, water and the half-lemon (in one piece). Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently with a lid on for 15-20 minutes. Check it from time to time and add a little more water if it seems too dry.

When cooked, the relish will have a nice red oily appearance. Remove the half-lemon. Add the mint and coriander to the relish and remove the pan from the heat. Serve it at room temperature with your broad bean hummous.

for the hummous

600g shelled weight of fresh or frozen broad beans
6-7 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
100ml water
Juice of 2 small lemons
100-120ml extra virgin olive oil
2tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
Sprigs of coriander

Put the broad beans into a pan with the garlic cloves and about 100ml of water, cover, season the pan and cook the beans slowly for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove them from the heat and leave to cool a little.

A good-quality jug liquidiser produces the best hummous, otherwise use a food processor. Spoon half of the broad beans into the blender or processor with half the cooking liquid and process on a high speed, stopping the machine occasionally to stir the mix and scrape the sides of the jug. When the beans are fairly well blended leave the machine running and pour in half of the lemon juice, then slowly add half the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of tahini. Again you will need to stop the machine every so often to scrape the sides of the jug. The hummous should be a thick pouring consistency when it's still warm from the machine. Transfer the hummous into a bowl, season to taste and add a little more lemon juice if necessary.

Repeat with the other half of the broad beans, lemon juice, oil and tahini. Leave in a covered bowl at room temperature until required.

To serve, spoon it about 2 cm deep on to a plate with a couple of spoonfuls of the broad bean relish, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly picked coriander. Try to find some good Lebanese flat bread, which is like large pitta bread, or use pitta, to eat with it.

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