Lockdown lunches 6: Topped homous

New year, new lockdown πŸ” and I think I can definitely say, with the weather so rubbish, the news this bleak and the incessant ‘new year new me’ TV and advertising (while my stress snacking shows no sign of abating) this one definitely puts the DOWN in lockdown.
So I think the best thing we can all do right now is switch off that πŸ“Ί and get stuck into some cooking.

So without further ado I bring you the first lockdown lunch of 2021 and it’s a lovely simple one that packs in plenty of flavour. You can even call it healthy if you’re that way inclined. Though it’s not Veganuary suitable (f*ck that shit).

This easy recipe makes a doddle of homous which is actually surprisingly hard to get just right, and will hopefully give you some inspo for your own topped homous delight.

For the chickpeas (the vital ingredient) the best method I’ve found is using dried, soaking in water overnight and cooking them fresh, there’s also something very comforting and about eating homous that’s still hot. But some heated canned ones will also do at a pinch.

The crispy spiced lamb and sharp pickled onions and buttery pine nuts all add texture and depth of flavour. But you can totally customise as you like, you could top with just extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, chilli flakes or zaatar, chopped parsley or a spoonful more tahini, or some leftover whole chickpeas.

For a veggie version you could do pickled onions and some hard boiled egg or substitute the lamb mince with small cubes of grilled aubergine and it’d be equally delicious.

Anyone with an extra few lockdown hours, try making homemade pittas to go with, it’s not as time consuming as you might think and it’s REALLY worthwhile. There’s literally nothing better on earth than hot fresh pitta and warm homous.

Hope getting cooking can bring us all a little much needed joy this January. Sending love and strength to everyone β€πŸ™



For the homous:

– 1 x 400g can chickpeas (or more ideally 400g dried chickpeas soaked overnight then cooked for an hour)

– 2 cloves garlic

– Juice of 1 lemon

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– 1/2 cup tahini

For the topping:

– 500g lamb mince

– 1 tbsp tomato puree

– 2 tbsp Lebanese 7 spice

– 2 tsp cumin

– Olive oil

– Handful finely chopped parsley

– Handful toasted pine nuts

– Handful finely sliced red onion soaked in vinegar



1. Add all the homous ingredients to a small food processor. It makes a massive different to soak the chickpeas overnight then boil them for 1 hr. But canned will work at a pinch. Pulse until smooth, spooning down from the sides, and adding a tsp of water if needed until smooth. Then season liberally with salt and pepper.

2. slide the onions and soak in red wine vinegar.

3. In a hot pan, add a couple tbsp olive oil and add the spices, toast them through then add the lamb mince and tomato puree, mix until cooked through.

4. Lightly toast the pine nuts then place the homous in a large, flat bowl and spoon a slight dip in the middle, place the lamb mince over the top and sprinkle with the parsley, onions and nuts, enjoy with pitta or cous cous and salads.