Mint Kitchen, a casual modern-Israeli restaurant, opened in New York City in the beginning of the year. Spearheaded by chef Erez Komarovsky—"One of the founding fathers of modern Israeli cuisine," per a press release—its menu features items like kibbutz salad, falafel-crusted salmon and chicken breast with sesame rub. However, one of its signature dishes is a warm jaffa hummus, which Komarovsky recently showed us how to make. Instead of the more customary chickpeas, Mint Kitchen uses chana dal as the base for its hummus and pounds each order by hand in a mortar and pestle. A previous version was topped with roasted mushrooms, but currently the hummus is served doused with a very generous amount of olive oil, sprinkled with pine nuts and chopped jalapeño, and served alongside freshly baked pita.
Here's how to make it at home.
Warm Jaffa HummusCourtesy of Erez Komarovsky, Culinary Partner at Mint Kitchen, New York City
1 pound chana dal, soaked in water for 2 hours
6 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped, plus more for serving
1 cup tahini
4 lemons, juiced
Olive oil, for serving
Pine nuts, for serving
Pita bread, for serving
1. Drain the chana dal, add to a large pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the chana dal is very soft, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
2. Crush the garlic and jalapeño in a mortar and pestle. Mix together the crushed vegetables with the cooked chana dal, tahini and lemon juice. Add the reserved cooking liquid as needed to reach desired consistency. Season with salt.
3. Plate the hummus, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with some chopped jalapeño and pine nuts. Serve with pita bread for dipping.
Photo by Noah Fecks.