Recipes > Hummus Ma Lahma | Hummus with Spicy Beef

Hummus Ma Lahma | Hummus With Spicy Beef


Hummus served with spicy Middle Eastern ground beef. Serve with warm pita bread for a delicious and easy appetizer.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Views: 62,083
  • Success Rating: 94% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Hummus

Making the Hummus
  • 1 small garlic clove (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 - 19 oz can, drained)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin or 1/2 tsp Monsoon Balti Spice (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


To make the hummus, first peel the garlic and then puree it using a food processor. Next, add the chickpeas, tahini and spices. Pulse a few times and then add the fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and puree again. With the machine running, slowly add in the oil until you reach the desired consistency.

Once done, set aside while you prepare the beef. The hummus can also be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Cooking the Beef

Cooking the Beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped mint


To prepare the beef, first finely chop the onions. Preheat a fry pan over medium heat and then add the oil. Add the onions and sauté for a minute or two. Then add the beef and sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes or until the beef is just cooked through. If necessary, drain any excess fat.

With the heat at medium low, add the beef back to the pan. Then add the tomato paste along with all of the spices. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

In the meantime, you can go ahead and prepare the garnish.

Step 3: Assembling the Dish

Assembling the Dish
  • smoked paprika (for garnish)
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped mint


To prepare the garnish, roughly chop the cilantro, parsley and mint.

To assemble the dish, first place the hummus into a shallow serving dish. Make a well in the center of the hummus.

Once the beef is ready, pour it onto the hummus. Then drizzle the top with some extra-virgin olive oil and season with freshly cracked pepper to taste. To finish, garnish with the fresh herbs, a touch of smoked paprika and serve immediately with warm pita bread.

Chef's Notes

This is a great variation from plain traditional hummus.

Hummus can be made the day before and leftovers will keep for several days in the refrigerator. This recipe results in a more authentic hummus with a stronger tahini presence, unlike most North American recipes. If you prefer, you can decrease the amount of tahini to suit your tastes.

*Note: Technically, Monsoon Balti Mix is more Indian, but the flavor it adds to the hummus is fantastic. Monsoon Balti is available in many specialty stores or online from Monsoon Coast, which is the company that makes it.


  • Michele G
    Michele G
    I made this last night I have to say I wasn't impressed. I'm familiar with a similar Middle Eastern dish called Lachmajou, however lamb is used instead of beef and only cinnamon for the spice. I'd omit the tomato paste and replace it with chopped tomatoes instead. The paste is very concentrated and overpowers the dish unless you add some broth or other liquid to mellow it out. Also, cooking it for only five minutes after the adding all those spices doesn't give enough time for the flavor to develop. Over all it tasted like ground beef with tomato paste. Sorry, just my opinion) I added sautéed garlic, a bit more salt and a little chicken broth to try to balance things out. The hummus was very good! However, I added extra garlic and olive oil.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Hi Michele G. Thanks for your feedback. As a founder, we love both positive and constructive feedback. This is a recipe that we have personally made over five times and everytime we've made it, people have raved about it. In fact, we made it just last night for 25 people and it lasted about 15 minutes. So while I'm a bit surprised, I'm more concerned that everyone has great experiences with our recipes. So with this said, I'm wondering if anyone else out there has tried this recipe. At Rouxbe, we only feature the best of the best and we are more concerned about quality than quantity so I'd rather improve this recipe or delete it. Floors open. Thanks again for sharing your comments Michelle. Joe
  • Lisa P
    Lisa P
    In view of Michele's comments, I substituted 2 diced tomatoes for the tomato paste and put in a splash of white wine which had a nice deglazing effect (I like saucy dishes anyhow). I think the extra liquid helped the spices along. I also added extra garlic to the hummus, but that's really a personal thing isn't it? I think if I was making it for company I would have stuck to the amount of garlic suggested in the original recipe. I thought the spice amounts for the beef were perfect, and I'm really glad to have discovered this dish. Yum!
  • Juju S
    Juju S
    I can see why it would taste like beef with tomato paste, look at the amounts of the spice the recipe calls for. I always laugh at recipes that call for something like 'an EIGHTH of a teaspoon of chili powder.' I mean why even bother, 1/8tsp isn't going to do anything. IMO spices like chili powder and cumin should be used in denominations no smaler than a tablespoon. So, want the beef to have flavour? Add (ALOT) more cumin and chili powder and taste it while its cooking to test if it has enough flavour.
  • Chester R
    Chester R
    I followed the recipe exactly and thought it was really flavorful..You do have to limit on spices such as cinnamon and allspice for they are strong..Thanks for sharing this..I have gotten so many great recipes from this site...
  • Payam P
    Payam P
    This hummus recipe was fantastic. I couldn't get the special spice, but even without it I thought it made for a great classic hummus. Thank you.
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    this be made with something other than ground beef? I prefer my beef to be identifiable. Prehaps ground lamb, chicken or pork? instead? Just wondering.....
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Good idea, ground lamb would be great, or any of the others you suggested. I particularly like the idea of the lamb though :-)
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    Thanks DT, I have made hummus on numerous occasions and will try this dish asap. I have a hankering for chili at the current moment so that is on the agenda for today. Tomorrow however is another story; thanks for the ok on the lamb, specifically which I particularly love.
  • Andrew B
    Andrew B
    I love putting a small touch of honey (or agave etc) into the hummus for that little extra "mmmm" that brings it over the top.
  • Jerry K
    Jerry K
    Pita or flat bread of some type would seem the most appropriate, maybe I am missing the obvious.
  • Michelle S
    Michelle S
    I was so excited to make this, but the results were less than impressive. I normally cook with a lot of garlic, and 1 clove of garlic doesn't sound like much, but it overpowered the hummus and that's all my husband and I could taste. Also, the beef wasn't spicy at all; it was very sweet. Very sweet meat with too much garlic - not a good meal. I was sad to have to throw the remainder away!
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    That your garlic was extremely fresh. When garlic is very fresh, it is far more pungent, and therefor more extreme in taste. Give the recipe another try, this time adding the garlic a little at a time. See what happens. I loved the recipe when I made it last year, actually more than a year ago. But it was great. JMO.
  • Hakan E
    Hakan E
    Why do we drain the all of fat in a sieve? In my humble opinion, that fat could be useful in cooking the contents in medium-low heat such as avoiding the contents to sticking to pan and furthermore add taste to final mixture. May be I am missing something? May be one reason is to avoid red colored oil(due to tomato paste) spilling on hummus which might damage the look and feel of the hummus plate. In any case, I am afraid we are losing some tasty juices by draining it in a sieve.
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    and although it is "lean" ground beef in the recipe, it is seldom a 96% lean mixture. Therefore, it is an unhealthy fat even if it might add "flavor". There are other ways to add the juice (use a separator) it will allow you to separate the fat and retain the juice. Good luck or as they say at Rouxbe Cheers!
  • Hakan E
    Hakan E
    if the objective is to create a delicous plate. Therefore, I believe there must be another "technical" reason to drain the "unhealthy" fat. I do wish there was a separator that would filter out the unhealthy contents of the food from the flavored part , without losing taste :)
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    If the fat was not drained then the dish would be too greasy. If, after draining it, you want to save the fat and use it for another purpose then that is your right. That's the beauty of cooking, we are all free to do and make adjustments as we feel necessary, both for our flavor and for our health. Cheers!
  • Patricia S
    Patricia S
    I can't believe I forgot about this one. Made it again last night and it is excellent. Some of the comments describe it as not having enough spice, but if your spices are of good quality and haven't been sitting in the pantry for years, then there is more than enough to season a 1/2lb of beef. This really is very tasty!!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great thoughts, Patricia! Old spices can be completely tasteless... so good to reminder everyone that they should check their spice cabinet before it's too late. Thanks for sharing!
  • Maya D
    Maya D
    Hi All, i made this recipe today with soya nuggets briefly shredded up in a grinder. Fried in the spices the dish was really yummy. A little adpatation on the oil was needed since soya nuggets are dryer than meat. But it was really good! The hummus too is the best guiding recipe ever i found anywhere. The soaking and cooking with sodium bicarbonate, was the missing link finally learned to make this hummus soft and smooth as it should. Thanks a million for sharing! Am glad the recipe wasn't deleted Joe ;-)
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Good idea Maya. I have also thought that this would be good using lentils. Also glad that you like the hummus recipe. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your tips. Cheers!

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