Spicy Green Bean Tamale Hummus

spicy green bean tamale hummusThis recipe utilizes the 6 key ingredients used for cooking tamale meat: peppercorns, ancho chilies, guajillo chilies, bay leaf, pumpkin seed and sesame seeds. Traditionally, the meat (usually shredded pork) is stewed in these spices and seeds. As with most things involving meat, the overall quality of the dish comes from the spices and seasonings that give it flavor. Case in point: if not for steak marinades and sauces, it seems safe to assume that more of us would go veg.

The use of green beans in place of chickpeas in this recipe make it very low in carbs and paleo approved.

Spicy Green Bean Tamale Hummus


1 pound green beans or about 3 cups, trimmed and roughly chopped
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1 bay leaf
1 dried ancho chile
1 dried guajillo chile
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp granulated garlic
4-5 whole peppercorns
salt to taste

*To adjust the “heat” of the hummus to your liking, remove the seeds from the chiles and add in 1 tsp at a time after you puree the cooked green beans with the sesame seeds. Chilies can vary, even though each particular variety has specific characteristics. Guajillo chilies, for example, can vary from mild to very spicy. The chiles themselves (with seeds removed) will taste mild-medium hot when cooked. Working with the seeds takes more finesse.

**To avoid over-salting, cook the green beans with the seeded chiles and spices without salt. Wait until the hummus is blended, and then add a few shakes of salt or a few grinds from the salt grinder. Blend again, taste, repeat.


Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a covered soup pot. Add green beans, chiles, cumin, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until green beans soften and absorb most of the water, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. This will help the seeds to “soak” in the warm water, without losing any of their nutritional value from cooking.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the green bean+seed mixture. This recipe utilizes whole sesame seeds instead of a pre-processed tahini, but when blended the characteristic tahini flavor is released. The texture and flavor of the dip matches that of traditional hummus. Had I not invented the recipe myself, I wouldn’t have guessed that green beans were used instead of chickpeas.

***At the request of readers I plan to start listing the price of ingredients used in my recipes. Here’s the cost breakdown for Spicy Green Bean Tamale Hummus:
1 lb green beans: $1
Tamale spice mix (sesame seeds, pepitas, chilies, peppercorns, bay leaf): $1
1 packet sesame seeds (about 2/3 cup): $1

Total: $3 not including the cumin and granulated garlic, which I already had on hand.

Step by step, in pictures:

fresh green beans
trim and roughly chop green beans
vegan green bean tamale hummus
green bean tamale hummus
green beans with chilies
puree and serve tamale hummus
spicy green bean tamale hummus

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