Pumpkin hummus. The usual crew: chickpeas, sesame (I use seeds; not store-bought tahini), lemon juice. 

To dial up the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, we roast it in the oven until soft and yielding. Halve a whole head of garlic, wrap in foil, and add to the roasting tray along with the pumpkin. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out the soft cloves. Blend it all up using ice cubes (instead of olive oil) to get the right consistency. This nifty trick keeps the calories down without compromising on texture. 

The spiced butter may seem like a frivolous extra step, but it really does elevate the dish. So simple too: melt a knob of butter until it starts to bubble up. Take the pan off the heat, add the spices, and swirl the pan to bring out their flavours. Dollop your hummus onto a plate and pour over the butter. Perfection. I say ‘sneaking’ pumpkin into hummus, but is it really sneaking if you love the addition of it?


Servings: 4 as a side


  • 500 grams pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (¾ cup uncooked)
  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Ice cubes, as required
  • Salt, to taste

Spiced butter:

  • 30 grams butter
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • Salt, to taste


  • If using dried chickpeas: soak the chickpeas overnight or for at least 6 hours. Rinse, add 2 cups of fresh water, and pressure cook until soft.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Remove the skin from the pumpkin and cut into approx 1 ½ inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt, and spread out on a baking tray.
  • Halve the garlic head horizontally with the skin on. Wrap in aluminium foil and drizzle over ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Add to the baking tray along with the pumpkin.
  • Roast the pumpkin and garlic for 30-40 mins or until a knife inserted into a piece of pumpkin goes through without resistance. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Toss the sesame seeds in a dry pan until lightly browned. Add to a blender jar. Squeeze out the garlic cloves with your hand and add to the jar.
  • Also add the chickpeas and pumpkin. Squeeze in lemon juice. Season with salt. Blend to a smooth purée adding ice cubes (instead of water) to adjust the consistency. Check and adjust seasoning. Dollop onto a plate.
  • Spiced butter: melt the butter in a small pan just until it starts to bubble up–about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add cumin seeds, coriander powder, chilli powder, and salt.
  • Swirl the spices in the butter for a few seconds. Spoon the butter over the hummus, sprinkle over sesame seeds and serve.


  • The butter can be replaced with 3 tablespoons of olive oil to make it vegan.


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