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Jen actually cooks.

So here we are. It’s been awhile. I’ve been travelling like a maniac, first for the wedding and then for work. Up until recently, for the last 3 months, I’d only been in Seoul for a total of two and half weeks. In and out of hotels. From one spare bed or sofa to another. And with that, I’d gone the way of full time restaurant eater. Not ideal if your aim is to post recipes on a food blog. But now, I’m back. This recipe isn’t revolutionary or inspired by Seoul. The photography isn’t very good even. The point with this was just to get back on the horse. And also to finally record my hummus recipe as I can never remember it.

The lamb and chickpeas were procured from a halal grocery in Seoul’s Islamic neighbourhood. It’s pretty much the only place that you can find such ingredients as even the “high end” grocery stores in Seoul are very Korean centric. If I want to make something western, it usually involves some heavy recipe adaptation. Basic ingredients in the States are now elusive to non-existent -avocados, fennel, red onions, fresh herbs, the list goes on and on.  A western meal also requires some heavy preplanning in terms of shopping. Sometimes, I end up going to three or four different stores in different neighbourhoods.  I haven’t done what a lot of people do here, and that’s the Costco run. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to yet. But that’s another post in and of itself.

Spiced Lamb Skewers with Homemade Hummus

For the lamb:

I’ve gone a bit slack with the measurements on the spice rub. Below is a complete guess. Basically I tossed  generous and equal amounts of each into the processor and added enough olive oil until it became a paste.

Hummus (3 of 8)


  • 1-1.5 Tbsp cumin seed
  • 1-1.5 Tbsp coriander seed
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1.5 Tbsp black mustard seed
  • 6-8 cardamom pods, crushed and seeds only
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 3-4 dried birds eye chillies
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • salt
  • olive oil

Hummus (1 of 8)Pulse all in the above in a processor until smooth. Mix with boneless, cubed lamb. Let sit for 30 minutes then skewer with tomatoes and red onion.

These would be great on a charcoal grill, but since I don’t have one, I did mine in an oven cranked to 200C. Cook for 10 minutes and then finish under a gas grill or broiler.

Hummus (4 of 8)

For the hummus:

  • 1.5 cups of chickpeas
  • cumin seed
  • coriander seed
  • 3-4 dried birds eye chillies
  • salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of tahini
  • lots of good olive oil
  • water

Soak the chickpeas for at least 8 hours. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a good helping of cumin seed, coriander seed, chillies and salt. Add the chickpeas and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.

Hummus (2 of 8)Drain the chickpeas and rinse in cold water to cool. Place in a food processor with the garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. Process and slowly stream in the olive oil.

Hummus (5 of 8)When the mix is thick, taste. Add more olive oil or seasoning if needed. If you like the flavour, thin to a creamy consistency with water.

Hummus (6 of 8)Serve with lamb skewers and sauteed zucchini.

Hummus (7 of 8)


One Comment

  1. Good to see you back on the horse! I like that it was hummus you first posted on your return. It’s one of those simple dishes that everyone has their own particular take on. Mine is a purist (well, lazy, to be hoest) take without anything in the way of spicing. And I use tinned chickpeas too (the unsalted water from the tin makes a great thinner though). Also, i end up chucking in half a jar of tahini, because i do love me sesame!

    In an entirely non-purist deviation, i’ve made the same thing using cannallini beans instead of chickpeas (due to completely forgetting i had no chickpeas), it worked a treat.

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