Lamb hummus is a delicious version of classic chickpea dip. With tender meat and zesty lemon herb sauce, make this kawarma recipe for an appetizer, mezze, or a meal on its own!
Many dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine are incredibly versatile. For example, heartier dishes like kawarma may be served as a mezze course, refreshing snack, or a full standalone meal.
What is kawarma?
Kawarma is the name for a dish of hummus with meat. In this case, seasoned lamb, fresh herb sauce, and garnishes.
Often, the flavor of the meat is elevated with Lebanese za’atar spice blend. Common garnishes include fresh parsley and mint, along with crunchy toasted pine nuts.
Lamb Hummus Ingredient Notes
- Hummus- If you’re in a hurry, you can use your favorite store bought brand. Otherwise, this dish will taste SO much better if you use a fresh batch of Mediterranean hummus
- Lamb- You have a couple of options here. I use ground lamb because it is usually easier to find (and more economical to buy) in the U.S. than lamb neck.
This being said, if you aren’t a fan of lamb, you can certainly make this recipe using ground beef. In some countries, goat meat is also a popular protein option for this dish.
- Herbs and Seasonings- Most of the spices and fresh herbs for hummus with lamb are basic pantry staples like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, fresh mint, and parsley. There is, however, one delicious addition; a Lebanese za’atar spice blend.
You can buy it prepared, of course, but I recommend making it yourself. The flavor will be fresher. Plus, it is typically less expensive to make than it is to buy.
- Pine Nuts- This is an optional garnish for the top of the kawarma, but the toasted nuts add a wonderful salty crunch.
Kawarma Recipe Video
Making this recipe is really rather easy, but if visuals help you, definitely check out the video tutorial in the recipe section at the bottom of the post.
How to make it
- Prepare both batches of hummus.
Whether you make your own or buy it prepared, you will need to set aside half of the batch or container. To switch up the original recipe, I like to make this second spiced hummus. Add the fresh cilantro and jalapeño to half of the hummus (see recipe card Notes), and pulse in a food processor to combine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a high speed blender. So you end up with 2 cups plain and 2 cups cilantro jalapeño hummus.
After preparing the hummus, whisk together the ingredients for the lemon herb sauce. Refrigerate in a covered container until you're ready to serve.
- Combine and marinate the lamb mixture.
You'll need to let the raw ground lamb marinate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than an hour or so. After that, the acid in the vinegar will begin to break down the fibers in the meat.
- Cook the lamb.
Cooking ground lamb is no different than cooking any other ground meat. Simply preheat a skillet over medium-high heat, and wait until it is hot before adding a splash of oil.
When the oil begins to shimmer, add the lamb to the pan and stir occasionally until it is cooked through. This will take 7 minutes or so.
- Plate and serve.
Start by plating some of the plain hummus evenly over each serving plate. Next, use the back of a large spoon to create a well in center of the hummus.
To create a nice visual presentation, rotate the plate and spoon the hummus in the opposite direction to swirl. Then, repeat with the green hummus.
Spoon the lemon herb sauce on top and sprinkle the pine nuts and any reserved chickpeas (optional) for garnish. Serve with warm pita, pita chips or any Middle Eastern flatbread.
Lamb Hummus (Kawarma)
- 4 cups hummus (See Note 1)
- 1 lb ground lamb (See Note 2)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp Za’atar spice blend (See Note 3)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
Lemon Herb Sauce
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ cup chickpeas
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Mix all of the Lamb Mixture ingredients in a bowl thoroughly by hand. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl mix together the Lemon Herb Sauce ingredients and set aside to marinate.
- In a small pan lightly dry toast the pine nuts until golden brown and season with kosher salt. Set aside.
- Over medium-high heat in a large skillet or cast iron pan melt the butter and oil. Add the lamb meat mixture and brown, breaking up into small bits until cooked through, several minutes.
- Using a large spoon scoop up some of the plain hummus and divide evenly over serving plates. Press down in center of hummus with spoon and rotate plate and spoon in opposite directions to swirl. Repeat with second hummus (Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus) if using, and top with cooked lamb mixture.
- Spoon the lemon herb sauce on top and sprinkle the pine nuts and any reserved chickpeas (optional) for garnish. Serve with warm pita, pita chips or any Middle Eastern flatbread.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.