Sikil Pak; Mayan Hummus

image (5)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.

Sikil Pak

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.

Mayan Hummus?

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!*


Sikil Pak

2 Medium vine-ripened tomatoes (or 3 plum tomatoes)
1/4 of red onion (skin and outer layer removed)
1 clove of garlic
1 Jalapeno
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.

image (4)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. 


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