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Beetroot hummus
Beetroot hummus
added by River Cottage Bread Handbook

For this shocking-purple variation of the classic chickpea dip, bread is used as a thickener because beetroot makes a thinner purée than chickpeas. I’ve given exact quantities here, but the way to make houmous is to add the ingredients a little at a time, tasting and tweaking as you go, until you think it is perfect. You could make a larger batch – it will sit quite happily for several days in the fridge, ready to dip raw vegetables into when you fancy a snack.

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Prep time
  • 10 minutes
Cook Time
  • One minute
  • Four
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 25g crustless, stale bread
  • 200g cooked beetroot
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • About 1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper
, ,

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and smell amazing (less than a minute).

While still hot, crush the seeds using a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder.

Break the bread into chunks and whiz in a food processor to crumbs.

Add the beetroot, most of the garlic, 1 tbsp tahini, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a sprinkling of salt and a good grinding of pepper.

Blend to a thick paste.

Taste the houmous; you should be able to detect every flavour.

If not, add a little more of whatever is lacking and blend again.

Keep tasting and adjusting until you are happy.

Serve with flatbread (see p.103) and/or vegetables for dipping.


Want to grow your own delicious veggies for recipes like this? Come along to our Get Growing day with Head Gardener Craig, to get inspiration for your growing space.

2 replies
Replied on

I am disappointed with this dish, not the result but the naming of it. You cannot call it hummus because simply It Is Not Hummus. Please call it something else. The word 'hummus' is Arabic for 'chickpeas' and in the Levantine countries, hummus is a staple dish made from chickpeas. Of course you can have variations to the original dish and in this case you vary the name accordingly, but when the dish does not contain any chickpeas in it, meaning it does not contain any 'hummus' in it, how can you call it 'hummus', its just another dip. Surely I can't call a 'sambousek' a 'Cornish pasty' just because they are similar, each one has its own characteristics and originality.

Replied on

I made this last evening..(from the Vege cookbook) and it is just wonderful... I have brought it into work today and my work colleagues also loved it and want the receipe... Good on you River Cottage!

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