• Recipes by Annabel Hughes & SavannaBel – savannabel.com

    Mbwiila hummus with “bush” dukkah

    Serves: 12 - 16
    Cooking Time: 1 hr + overnight, to soak



    • 600g mbwiila beans, soaked overnight + skins peeled and discarded/chickpeas
    • 275g tahini paste
    • 60ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 7,5ml (1½ tsp) salt
    • 100ml ice cold water

    • 5ml (1 tsp) fennel seeds
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cumin seeds
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) dried green-/pink-/white peppercorns
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) coriander seeds
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) sunflower seeds
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) sesame seeds
    • 50g mongongo nuts/25g hazelnuts + 25g almonds
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) baobab powder
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) sea salt flakes
    • 1 heaped tablespoon smoked paprika
    • olive oil, to drizzle
    • Melba toast/crackers/crudités, to serve



    Place the shelled and soaked mbwiila beans/chickpeas in a large saucepan over high heat, cover well with water and bring to a boil. Cook until they start to break apart, about 30 – 40 minutes.


    Drain the mbwiila beans/chickpeas through a fine mesh sieve and transfer them to a blender. Add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic and 7,5ml (1½ tsp) salt. Blitz until the ingredients are well combined. (The mixture is sticky – therefore, you will have to stop the machine and loosen it with a spatula from time to time.) Slowly trickle in the ice cold water and allow to incorporate until a very smooth and creamy paste is achieved, about 4 – 5 minutes.


    Transfer the mbwiila/chickpea hummus to a serving bowl(s), cover the surface with cling film and allow to rest, at least 30 minutes. If not using straight away, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to remove the hummus from the fridge, at least 30 minutes before serving, to take off the chill.


    For the dukkah, place a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, 1 –2 minutes. Put in the fennel seeds and dry-roast, 30 seconds (being careful not to burn them). Add the cumin seeds and cook, a further 30 seconds or until they start to pop. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl and set aside until needed.


    Return the pan to the heat and roast the peppercorns until they pop, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl containing the seeds. Dry-roast the coriander seeds, up to 1 minute, until they start to pop and also add them to the bowl.


    Reduce the heat to low and cook the sunflower- and sesame seeds together, tossing regularly, until the seeds turn golden. Remove from pan and add to the seed bowl.


    Next, dry-roast the mongongo nuts/hazelnuts + almonds, using the same pan. Remove and cool in a metal mixing bowl. Once cool, add the fennel-, cumin- , coriander-, sunflower- and sesame seeds, and the peppercorns to the other bowl. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the nuts and seeds coarsely. Continue to crush the mixture until all of the flavours have been released. Do not over-process.


    Mix in the baobab powder, sea salt flakes and paprika, making sure the flavours are well-combined. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.


    To serve, sprinkle the bush dukkah over the hummus, drizzle olive oil around the edges of the bowl(s) and serve with Melba toast, crackers, or crudités alongside.


    Find mbwiila beans at native fruit and veg markets – the local name will differ according to region/country. Substitute mbwiila beans with chickpeas if unavailable. By placing the nuts, seeds and spices over heat, you are releasing the flavour, not cooking them. They burn easily when dry-roasting, so watch them carefully. If it happens, turn down the heat, clean the pan and start again. Substitute the mongongo nuts with almonds and/or hazelnuts.

    More delicious recipes from Elephant Café:

    Muchingachinga mess with lavender flowers

    Thai-inspired tilapia ceviche with sesame-infused avocado, grapefruit and roasted peanuts


    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com