hummus with slow roasted Persian lamb

I am without a doubt a fan of the humble chickpea and its versatility. For myself there is no better way to celebrate its deliciousness than to make one of my favourite dishes, Hummus with Slow Roasted Persian Lamb. This recipe was a firm favourite of customers at a Persian pop up kitchen that I ran a little while ago.

This recipe is all about slow cooking but well worth the time and effort you put into the dish. I highly recommend using dried chickpeas as you get a better texture and flavour to the hummus. I also like to use a middle eastern branded tahini as it seems to have a more rounded and nutty flavour in comparison to the ones available at the supermarkets.

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Prep Time: 4hrs 

Cooking Time: 4hrs 

Serves: 8

For the hummus 

  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 large lemons, juice
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  •  200g tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Iced water
  • Water

For the lamb

  • 1.6kg shoulder of lamb on the bone
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp white cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Persian dried lime
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt

For garnish 

  • 1/2 pomegranate – arils
  •  3 stems fresh mint torn
  • 3 stems fresh flat leaf parsley torn
  • Olive oil
  • Sumac

method 

Preheat the oven to 160c

Soak the chickpeas in cold water, set aside for approximately 2 1/2 hrs. (If not using a pressure cooker, soak overnight).

Line a roasting tin with greaseproof paper; place the lamb on the top.

Rub the rose water over the lamb.

Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and add the spices and lime. Roast until an aroma from the spices develops but be careful not to scorch the ingredients.

Finely grind the toasted spices, lime rose petals, sumac and salt.

Rub the olive oil over the lamb and coast the whole shoulder with the spice mix.

Place the lamb in the oven and cook for 3 1/2 hrs. or until the lamb pulls apart, baste the lamb throughout the cooking process.

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Drain the chickpeas, place in a pressure cooked with approximately 2 1/2 inches of water covering the pulses. Cook on a high heat for the 1st whistle then reduce the heat to a low flame and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Once cooked open the pressure cooker and add the sea salt and set aside for 5 minutes, I find this way of seasoning the chickpeas works best.

Drain the chickpeas, place in a food processor with the garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Gradually blend the ingredients with the ice-cold water until you reach a smooth desired consistency. Place to one side until needed.

Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the roasting tray and shred the meat and spice crust.

Spread the hummus on your chosen serving plate, dress with the shredded lamb, pomegranate arils and torn herbs, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil and a sumac.

Serve with warm flat breads.