This recipe was provided by our guest chef John Gregory-Smith.

Wander through the medina of Tripoli and you will soon smell the sizzle of beef kebabs wafting through the air as little hole-in-the-wall stalls grill up a storm throughout the day. To get the meat super succulent you need to have a high fat content – I suggest at least 20 per cent fat. These kebabs are simple to make and cook fast on a barbecue. Rather than serve them in a wrap, I like to make these a little different, plating them up on a slick of hummus – either buy your favourite or make a batch – and then top the meat with a really zesty mix of red onion, sumac and parsley.

Serves 4

For the onion

1 red onion, finely sliced

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon sumac

a small handful of finely

chopped parsley leaves

sea salt

For the kebabs

450g minced beef with 20 per cent fat

½ onion, grated

½ teaspoon allspice

a small handful of finely chopped parsley leaves

½ teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice or baharat

1½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes

25g toasted pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, crushed

To serve

300g hummus


1. Put the sliced onion into a bowl and add the lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to macerate for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the grill or barbecue to high. Put all the ingredients for the kebabs into a large mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt and mix well. Thread the meat onto flat skewers (these prevent the meat from turning when you flip them over on the barbecue) so you have a sausage shape. You should be able to make eight kebabs. Cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until charred and juicy.

3. Add the sumac and parsley to the macerated onions and mix well.

4. To serve, spread the hummus onto a serving dish. Lay the kebabs on top and pile on the onions. Serve immediately with flatbreads and


Serves 6

250g dried chickpeas 2 tsp baking powder Juice of a lemon 2 cloves garlic 100ml tahini Sea Salt

1. Tip the chickpeas into a large saucepan and cover over with water. Cover and leave to soak overnight. Drain and refresh. Tip into a clean pan and cover with an inch of water. Add the baking powder and bring to the boil over a high heat. Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming off any scum as you go, for 1-11/2 hours, or until the chickpeas are beautifully tender. Drain over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquor.

2. Wash the chickpeas thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Put a handful of chickpeas to one side for garnish and tip the rest into a food processor. Add the lemon, garlic, tahini, 50ml chickpea water and a really good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. If the mix it too thick, loosen with a little more chickpea water. Do a taste test. You can add more tahini to make it richer if you like and salt to taste. Tip the hummus into a serving bowl and serve.