Cumin Ground Beef & Hummus


I adore foreign cuisine from the now-familiar Middle-East to the far reaches of Asia, and from Lebanon to Sichuan. Like many Montrealers, I discovered Lebanese cuisine thanks to Basha, too many decades ago for me to count down comfortably. As a student at McGill University, I would walk down to the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Mansfield streets at lunch time, grab a tray and order dishes whose names were unknown back then: hummus, baba ghanouj, shish taouk, shawarma & all. Then I would pray for a spot near one of the large bay windows and dive into the food, while watching the hustle and bustle of downtown Montreal below. I was discovering the potency of cumin, the freshness of cilantro and, I confess, vegetables no one was cooking around me like eggplant and okra.

Featured on À la di Stasio TV show, this recipe’s barely adapted from a dish presented by Québec chef Racha Bassoul of former Anise restaurant. I never got a chance to try Anise, so I like exploring the multiple recipes of hers one can find here and there, and on show website (in French).

This quick weeknight dish is easy, delicious and a welcome change from hamburger steak, one food I did grow up on, too much so. I prefer this version much better.



  • 1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook shallots, cumin, coriander and black pepper in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
  • 2. Add ground beef, salt generously and break meat with a spoon. Cook until beef has lost its pink colour. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • 3. In individual serving plates or a large serving bowl, spread hummus. Pour meat in the center, garnish with pine nuts and diced tomato. Drizzle with good quality olive oil. Serve with pita bread and tabbouleh salad to stay on theme.