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Cumin-Spiced Beef Mince and Hummus Pita with Smoked Paprika

This Middle Eastern inspired dish from Sophie Zalokar makes a terrific quickly prepared delicious dinner with perfect leftovers for school-lunches the next day.


(Serves 4)

Cumin-spiced Beef Mince

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted


  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained & rinsed or 220 g cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 6 wholemeal pita bread
  • nigella seeds, to garnish (optional)
  • smoked or sweet paprika, to garnish
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, to garnish


  1. To prepare the Cumin-spiced Beef Mince, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan until very hot. 
  2. Add the mince with the salt and cook on high. Stir and press on the meat with the back of a spoon to break up the meat into a gravelly texture; cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the meat has browned a little.
  3. Remove from the pan and reserve in a bowl to the side. 
  4. In the same pan fry the onions, garlic, ground cinnamon and cumin until softened.
  5. Return the browned mince to the pan together with 2 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts and stir through the onion mixture; gently frying for another couple of minutes until well combined. Stir through ¾ of the pine nuts and reserve to the side. 
  6. To prepare the Hummus, place the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, extra virgin olive oil and hot water in a blender or small food processor and process until a smooth puree. Add a little extra water if required to make a thick puree and adjust the seasoning to taste. 
  7. To finish place the pita on an open grill or in a sandwich press to gently toast.
  8. Spread a thick layer of hummus over the pita and sprinkle over a little nigella seed.
  9. Top with the mince and sprinkle over a little smoked paprika. 
  10. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts and Italian parsley leaves and serve.


Nigella seeds are the little black seeds you see on Turkish bread. They had a toasty flavour to the dish but aren’t essential.

This recipe also works nicely with lamb mince.

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