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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beet Hummus (Mutabal Shawandar)

Beet Hummus is a traditional Syrian appetizer known as "mutabal shawandar," literally translating to "beet dip."  I'm classifying it as hummus because of the parallel to traditional chick pea hummus with the inclusion of tahini and lemon. As a child my mom did not make this and we would only eat it occasionally on trips to the Middle East, so I've put this together using only my sense of taste and memory and when my older family members (who are TOUGH critics when it comes to authentic cooking) tried it they gave a thumbs up...after some constructive criticism of course ;)

If you buy your beets boiled and peeled to save time (Trader Joe's and Costco both sell them in the refrigerated section of their markets) this is literally done in 3 minutes. easy and I LOVE the POP of color! This is a great side dish for game nights, bbq's or as a snack. Serve it cold or at room temperature...prepare it in advance and give it a quick stir before matter how you eat it the bright hues will cheer you up and satisfy your eyes before you even take a bite.

I'm a huge fan of using seasonal produce throughout the year and beets get major points because as a root veggie they are easy to get a hold of at any time. During the winter I love to eat this because I find it fun and refreshing, and during the summer its really satisfying because it's light and doesn't require any heated preparation. Anytime I can spend less effort for great results I'm in! Who's with me?

Funny story about the picture above. I took this plate out to photograph it and my boys came running after me wanting to get in the shots. One was dressed in an Iron Man costume and the other was mid costume switch lol.  They each grabbed a pita chip and cucumber and took a dip into the hummus. Without thinking about it Iron Man took a bite and exclaimed in surprise "Wow, I actually like it!"  When I finished my photos they eagerly polished off everything on the plate...needless to say I was thrilled because beets are SO HIGH in vitamin c and are an excellent immune booster and form of potassium and fiber! Go make this!!!

Serves 4-6

-1 pound peeled and boiled beets
-1/4 cup Greek yogurt
-2 tablespoons tahini
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
-1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Optional garnish: chopped parsley, walnuts, olive oil or black sesame seeds

*Serve with pita chips, pita bread, crackers and a variety of veggies

To make
-Place you boiled and peeled beets (make sure they are cold and you have drained them from any liquid) into a food processor and pulse the mixture together until they are in small chunks. Do not puree to a complete paste to retain some texture in your dip.  If you do not own a food processor, you can grate the beets using a vegetable grater on the coarse side of the grater.
-Add the remaining ingredients (Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and salt) and mix together. Taste and adjust salt/pomegranate molasses content until it is tangy enough for your taste. If your dip is too watery, add more tahini. If it is too thick, add a little more Greek yogurt. Do not add water!
-Transfer to a bowl and add optional garnish.
-Serve with pita chips/bread/fresh veggies and enjoy!

Try these other delicious dips!

Olive and Garlic Cheese Dip

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  1. Your beautiful photography and those vivid colors got me to try this dip. It is out of the box for my regular onion dip and chips and my husband was skeptical. After a few bites he said it was really good (if you knew him you'd get what a big deal this is as he rarely eats veggies). He dipped his tortilla chips into the hummus and even took some to work the next day. Great recipe, thank you.

  2. Left out the greek yogurt and used extra tahini to make this vegan. Perfect flavor and looked beautiful on my table.