Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Hummus M’Sakhan


Last year, when my husband and I took off for Israel, we had one mission: food. We were going to taste everything.

So I did a little research before I left. Not too thorough – I was open to discovering a new gem or even tasting a bit of culinary mediocrity. But I came prepared. I scoured the blogs of writers I respected, and reached out to friends and experts. I even contacted the Israeli Tourism Bureau’s food expert. But most importantly, I scribbled all over this article highlighting Yotam Ottolenghi’s favorite spots to eat in his native city: Jerusalem.

This recipe was inspired by a dish I discovered at one of his recommendations – Pasha’s a family-owned restaurant nestled behind a tree-lined street of East Jerusalem. We stopped in after a full, sweaty morning of admiring the Dome of the Rock, and we were hungry. So we ordered something new – M’Sakhan, a hearty, traditional Palestinian dish of fried Bedouin bread smothered with spiced, caramelized onions and roast chicken. We were floored.

Hummus M’Sakhan is my take on that dish with a twist – creamy, earthy mashed chickpeas instead of oil-soaked bread. The tangy, sweet onions on top are a little taste of heaven. I like to mop them up with some pita and serve it with either our Perfected Fattoush or Spring salads. –jaime

P.S. Ottolenghi has his own recipe for M’Sakhan here. And if the sound of M’Sakhan makes your mouth water, you might want to check out the other culinary highlights of my trip here.



1/6 cup tahini (optional)

¼ cup lemon juice

2 garlic cloves

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon cumin

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas

¾ teaspoon salt

Generous grindings of fresh black pepper


~Spiced Onions and Chicken~

2 large onions, sliced

¼ c. + 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons sumac, divided

1 ½ teaspoon cardamom, divided

2 teaspoon black or Aleppo pepper, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 lb. chicken breast

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Garnish: Parsley or mint



Start this at least an hour before serving, as the onions take a long time.

1) Heat a large frying pan over low heat. Melt 1⁄4 cup oil and the butter in pan.

2) Once the oil and butter are melted, add the onions and 3⁄4 teaspoon salt. Cook on low about 45 minutes – 1 hour, stirring frequently. The heat should stay low so the onions cook slowly and caramelize (and don’t burn). They should be soft and sweet.

3) While onions are cooking, make your hummus. Place tahini, lemon juice, and garlic cloves in a food processor or blender and pulse until creamed together. Add the rest of the ingredients (oil through pepper) and a few tablespoons of warm water and pulse again until ingredients combine. Taste and adjust to your liking. Place hummus in a serving bowl and set aside.

4) Rub both sides of the chicken with half of the sumac, cardamom, salt, and pepper.

5) When the onions are done, remove them from the heat. Add the other half of the sumac, cardamom, salt, and pepper and stir.

6) Place a grill or frying pan on the burner and raise the heat to medium (I prefer to grill but both work). Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil starts to bubble, add chicken and cook each side for 5 minutes (about 10 total) or until cooked all of the way through. Be careful not to overcook.

7) When chicken is finished, place it on a cutting board and cut into small 1⁄2 inch cubes.

8) To serve, layer the hummus with the onions and chicken. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top.

Garnish with parsley or mint as well as a little sumac sprinkle and serve.

Note: You may want to warm the hummus before layering the onions and chicken.




M’Sakhan at Pasha’s.


4 comments on “Mezze: Hummus M’Sakhan

  1. Alex
    June 27, 2014

    I think the mission of every trip should be food! This dish sounds like a great discovery!

  2. saraelisheva
    August 31, 2014

    You put butter in a chicken recipe from Israel? I am disappoint.

    • mezzeanddolce
      September 2, 2014

      Thank you for following M&D! M’Sakhan is a traditional Palestinian dish so it does not adhere to the laws of kashrut, but please feel free to substitute the butter with olive oil.

  3. Pingback: Our Best of 2014 – Better Late than Never! | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2014 by in Appetizers/Dips, Legumes, Legumes, Mezze, Poultry, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at


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