I have a bit of a confession, something that will probably anger all the hummus purists out there… and I’m sure there are plenty of them. While I love a good, straight-up, plain hummus, I have to admit, I’m quite partial to all the different flavours on offer in the shops nowadays. Roasted red pepper, caramelised red onion and, my favourite, sweet chilli. Hummus is so easy to make yourself though and always tastes better homemade.
Whilst I was feeling productive, I thought I’d make my own sweet chilli as well. Hemsley Hemsley have a recipe for Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce in their cookbook, The Art of Eating Well, which I’ve been meaning to try for a while. It replaces the white sugar found in most traditional versions and uses maple syrup instead. You can adjust the amount of garlic and chilli to your own taste. I am usually not very good with spice and found the sauce on its own slightly too hot but mixed with the cool, creamy hummus it balances it out perfectly.
Hemsley Hemsley Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
75ml maple syrup
50ml apple cider vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, grated
2tbsp. fish sauce
1tbsp. chilli flakes
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
Sea salt and black pepper
Mix all the ingredients, except the arrowroot, together with 175ml water in a saucepan.
Simmer over a medium heat for about five minutes until the sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, whisk up the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water, then add this to the pan and keep stirring.
Simmer for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally to stop it clumping or catching at the bottom of the pan. It will have reduced by about half to 150ml. Take it off the heat, check for seasoning and leave to cool. Serve at room temperature. Store in the fridge.
(This is the recipe from The Art of Eating Well. I found that I had to play around a bit with the arrowroot, adding a bit more with water until I got the consistency that I wanted. I also let it cook down for a bit longer than suggested.)
400g canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 heaped tbsp. of tahini
1 tsp cumin
Juice of half a large juicy lemon
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
125ml Extra Virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
Place all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth, add more olive oil for a smoother consistency. Check for seasoning. Add more lemon, salt or garlic if desired. That’s it!
Both the sweet chilli and the hummus are perfect condiments on their own but my intention was to mix them together to rival my favourite Tesco dip. Try spooning some hummus on to your plate, drizzling it with sweet chilli and mixing it up. It really is a great combo.
The classic accompaniments are pitta bread or pepper and carrot sticks. Have it with these, but I urge you to try it with so much more as well. Mix it through rice salads, with quinoa and chicken, with homemade falafels or just put a big blob on to the side of any dish… you can’t go wrong with hummus.