How to spice up hummus

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Few things are as universally loved as hummus.

A blend of chickpeas, lemon, tahini, garlic, olive oil and cumin, whizzed together (or just bought in a tub), it’s the ideal dip to dunk crisps, carrot sticks or anything else into – because, let’s face it, hummus goes with everything.

If you love hummus, it’s time to stray from the standard recipe and try a new and unusual variation on the classic. Of course, if you’re a hummus puritan you might consider these new takes heretical – but also, they might just be worth a try.

1. Chocolate hummus

If you have a sweet tooth and regular hummus is too savoury for your palate, go all-in and add chocolate.

Of course, you can’t just add chocolate chunks and call it a day – to make this a dessert-worthy dish, you’ll have to sub out the garlic, lemon and cumin, and swap in cocoa powder and some other sweeteners, such as golden syrup or dates.

2. Swap out the chickpeas

Chickpeas might seem like an essential ingredient for hummus, but rules are made to be broken. It may be controversial, but forgoing chickpeas for something similar – such as peas, broad beans or kidney beans – can make for a different, but still satisfying, dip.

3. Add curry powder

Curry powder pairs amazingly well with the cumin usually found in hummus, so it makes sense to chuck some in. You could also try sprinkling on a little turmeric, which will turn it vibrant yellow.

4. Add it to brownies

If you’ve given chocolate hummus the thumbs up, it’s time to expand into the world of baking. Swap hummus for either all, or part of, the butter required in your favourite brownie recipe, and you’ll get a healthier version of the treat with a nuttier flavour. Don’t believe us? Try these hummus brownie bites from Liz’s Healthy Table.

5. Add beetroot or roasted peppers

To bring extra drama to your hummus, blitz in roasted beetroot or red peppers. Not only will they bring a bit of earthy sweetness to the dip, but they’ll turn it bright pink or red.

6. Add peanuts

To amp up the nutty flavour of hummus, roast up some peanuts and add them into the mix. We also like roughly chopping up some extra nuts and stirring them through the dip at the end, for a crunchy texture.

7. Spice it up

Spice lovers won’t be content with sprinkling some paprika over the top of their hummus. Pump up the flavour by putting in finely chopped jalapenos or chillies, liberally adding chilli powder, or even stirring through your favourite hot sauce. Top off with chilli flakes, it’ll warn people it’s spicy.

If you don’t fancy whipping up your own hummus from scratch, here are a few ways to elevate store-bought hummus to make it that little bit more special.

Lemon
A squeeze of fresh lemon adds a fantastic pop of acidity to store-bought hummus. Mix in about half a lemon’s worth of juice to bring a little brightness to your hummus.

Mix in some spice
Spices such as paprika, cayenne pepper and sumac all lend a marvellous layer of nuance to a classic hummus dip.

Garnish away
A simple touch of fresh chopped green onions, chives, parsley, rosemary or dill is another brilliant way to add more flavour to your hummus. Just add the herb of your choice, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle on some sea salt.

Add seeds
Toasted sesame seeds give hummus a rich, nutty flavour. You can toast them in a pan at home or buy them already toasted.

Are you a hummus fan? Do you make your own or buy it from the store? What do you eat with hummus?

– With PA

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