The days are long gone when fusion food was limited to five-star dining concepts where smoke and mirrors was the name of the game. Today, every restaurant has jumped on to the bandwagon with staples such as the humble hummus undergoing a makeover with a multitude of variations available across Levantine kitchens. As we celebrate International Hummus Day on May 13, here’s a look at some of the popular hummus variants that you can tuck into living in the UAE (or even attempt at home).
This can be counted as a regular appetiser these days with restaurants such as Somewhere, tucked away at The Dubai Mall, boasting a hummus bar with dishes such as guacamole hummus, along with a beetroot variation, jalapeno bell peppers and one with Black Angus beef. While this protein-rich variation is popular with the avocado-loving millennials, those attempting the dish at home should remember to cover it with a cling wrap and place it in an air-tight container to stop it from going black.
Another great way to eat something healthy, disguised in a dish universally loved, is beetroot hummus. This is another one of those variations that is found universally — especially proving a hit with the vegans. Pinza, Bystro in Al Safa and Hawader El Bait in Business Bay do a smashing one. The trick to add just that bit of extra flavouring is to roast the beetroot first and add a bit of ricotta cheese.
Sweet potato hummus
Not one that many experiment with, the sweet potato variation is an acquired taste, if you ask us, but so were the other deviations that have popped up in the recent past. The idea is to roast or bake the sweet potatoes first before blending it with tahini, garlic, olive oil, salt and lemon. You can even attempt a curried version of the dish by adding a bit of curry powder to the roast or the blending process.
Fans of Japanese food will recognise Edamame as the ideal appetiser, and when you head to the Middle East, its fusion with the region’s staple starter is a no-brainer. BB Social Dining at DIFC does a variant, mixing it with spinach for a healthier version, while Katsuya by Starck at Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel tops it up with tomatoes and olives for that extra bit of zing. Do cook the edamame first before blending it and add a bit of cumin for some extra flavouring.
We aren’t quite sold on this, but there are those who swear by the health benefits of a carrot hummus, so who are we to complain? The Hummus House at JLT offers a carrot and coriander hummus on the menu, while those of you attempting it at home should try to cook the orange sticks first before blending it.
Definitely one to try, red-pepper hummus is bursting with flavours, especially when the peppers are roasted or broiled ahead of the blending process. Mix things up with red, yellow and orange peppers, which can give it just that little sweeter after-taste. If you prefer trying it before making the effort, order it in from Barsalata or try the pre-packed versions retailed at The Honest Counter and Lulu Hypermarket.
Those looking for some sweet tidings can take the hummus down the menu and flip it from an appetiser into a lip-smacking dessert. While we won’t lie, this is almost akin to changing a mindset, many have tried and enjoyed this version of the dish. Two years ago, Kcal Life even launched a range of dessert hummus treats made up of three flavours including Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mocha.