A new kind of humus

There was a photo going around the ~social media~ of an avocado that was perfectly cubed in its husk. Multiple amigos, separately, shared the photo with me, knowing my love of avocados. Since I am in El Salvador, and avocados are abundant this time of year, I retaliated with my own geometrically sliced avo:


There is a seed (legume), new to me, that is “in season” right now. It’s called semilla de paterna (literally, paternal seed). The legume was introduced to me by a friend who has a company called Terra Mantra that makes all kinds of delicious natural jams and products. We did an exchange: I taught them how to make Beer Bread and I got to see how to make a humus using this seed (photo below from my friend and fellow Fulbrighter Pam).


Semilla de Paterna is surrounded with a sweet, white coating that can be eaten as is. The bright green seed needs to be cooked– usually boiled or cooked in ashes for up to 40 minutes. Luckily, a bag of already cooked semilla de paterna can be bought for $0.50 in the market. I bought a bag of my own with lemon juice and salt. The seeds can be eaten whole, with lemon juice and salt and even chile, as a snack. OR, it can be made into a delicious humus…


Like a typical garbanzo-bean humus, the semilla de paterna humus is simple: beans, olive oil (we used a mix of olive and coconut oil), garlic, salt, pepper, and an optional spoonful of tahini or nuts.

The resulting beer bread and paterna humus mix were a divine combination. Fresh and hearty and full of distinct flavors.


I would say that the humus tastes most like regular humus, but with brighter notes than a humus with garbanzo beans. While garbanzo bean humus has a creamy, nutty, earthy taste, the semilla de paterna humus is still earthy, but with a suggestion of an unidentifiable herb, and again, brighter.


I had to make the humus again, this time, side-by-side with garbanzo-bean humus and sprinkled with paprika.

It’s refreshing to be constantly reminded of the variety of foods I have yet to try. I will continue to relish in the new learning opportunities, especially when they end in a delicious snack.



Beetroot Humus

First day back to class and the start of second term began as one of those really rainy gross days that stayed rainy and chilly throughout the afternoon.


When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey…

And who doesn’t find comfort in boiling beets and chickpeas for an hour?

Beetroot Humus

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 boiled beet, peeled and chopped (or baked– would make the humus more viscous)
  • 3 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Teaspoon salt
  • Grind up some pepper
  • A combination of Paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and Indian masala spice blend in pinches or teaspoonfuls until it’s your desired spice level

Place all ingredients into a food processor (blender works too– just pause and stir more with a spoon) and blend away. Add lemon juice/ olive oil if the humus is too thick. Adjust spices. Blend again. Serve it up– cut up some carrots and snack at it!