Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 50g walnuts
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 100g canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 200g cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little olive oil (optional)


Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in an oven preheated to 180C/ 160C fan/gas mark 4 for 5-7 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool. Warm a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than a minute, so be careful not to burn them. Crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. Put the chickpeas into food processor or blender with the walnuts and blitz until fine. Add the beetroot, tahini, most of the garlic, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good grind of pepper, then blend to a thick paste. Taste the mixture and adjust it by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and /or pepper, blending again until you are happy with it. Loosen with a dash of olive oil if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until required but bring back to room temperature to serve.

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