In 2007 while on a tour in Mexico (Mexico City more precisely) I happened into a charming vegan cafe (sadly, the name escapes me at the moment). The fare was light and airy; Cactus Salads, Vegetable sandwiches and smoothies. But, of all the vegan grub offered there, there was one thing I had neither heard of nor tasted – I was intrigued.
Naturally the inquisitive side of me took over; I asked the cute punk girl working the counter to give me the run down. Mayan Hummus, she said simply.
She then went on to tell me that it was essentially a pumpkin seed dip (with Mayan origin) that closely resembled hummus in texture – but not in taste.
She gladly told me the simple ingredients in the recipe and upon return to the states I attempted to make the dish. This is my rendition, one that I’ve worked on over the years and suits my taste. Is it traditional? Traditional enough, I suppose. I’ve seen many different variations to the dish but I share with you the one that was relayed to me.
It is versatile as both a dip and a great topping for sandwiches. The flavor profile is all over the map! (But in a good way of course). The charred bits add smokiness, the nutritional yeast a little body and the touch of lemon for a pop of acid. And If you’re not careful it’ll make you dance like Elaine!*
2 Medium vine-ripened tomatoes (or 3 plum tomatoes)
1/4 of red onion (skin and outer layer removed)
1 clove of garlic
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds) toasted in a dry pan for a couple minutes
1 (Heap) TBS Nutriontal Yeast
1/4 Cup (chopped) fresh cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Gently drizzle a bit of olive oil on Tomatoes, onion, garlic & jalapeno.
2. Broil for 5 minutes in a rimmed baking sheet, remove garlic and return to broil for 5 more minutes or until sufficiently charred. Black spots are okay.
3. Add your broiled ingredients to a food processor (including any juice) and pulse until every thing is finely pureed.
4. Next add your pepitas in 1/2 cup batches (and nutritional yeast) process until smooth.
5. Add your cilantro and lime juice to the food processor. Pulse a few times to incorporate but do not puree – you want your cilantro to be mixed throughout but not pureed.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
As I said this is great as a dip (with tortilla chips or vegetables), spread on toast or used as the base of a good vegetable sandwich or torta.
It’s also a great dish for a party!
*Not a true statement – you will probably NOT dance like Elaine. And you should never. Like Ever.