Smokin’ Creamy Red Pepper Hummus

Creamy, tangy, smokey & delicious, not even started on healthy yet! Chickpeas are tiny little powerhouses of nutrition, lovely yellow beads blended with few other ingredients to make a silky smooth hummus- simply irresistible! Though I never much cared for hummus initially when the craze first started in India a few years ago for all Middle-Eastern food, I started loving it once I learnt how to make it the right way. The creamy smooth divinity- in- a- spoonful way!

The significance for choosing to post this recipe today is Yalda Night or Chelleh Night-an Iranian Winter Solstice festival that is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere’s longest night of the year between 20 & 21st December each year. Also known as Shab-e-Yalda, originally observed to ward off evil during the darkest night of the year, today it is celebrated as a night when family & friends gather to read the poetry of Divan-e-Hafez, eat fruits & nuts until dawn, especially red ones like watermelons & pomegranates to symbolize the hues of a new dawn & rebirth of the sun. The last day of autumn & first day of winter.

I happened to read about it earlier this month & as it interestingly coincided this year, 2020, with the first-time-in nearly- 800 years that Jupiter & Saturn have aligned to create the Christmas Star, I thought it was especially significant to showcase how so many different religions the world over, have similar beliefs & traditions, just calling it by different names such as Midnight Yule, the Chinese Dongzhi Festival & so on.  

Chickpeas are easily available & very popular across the world for a variety of dishes ranging from the traditional Indian spiced chickpea curry served with deep fried pooris or Chhole Bhature to healthier options such as bhel, sandwiches, salads, soups, falafel & hummus. They contain plant protein, iron, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B complex & make for ideal gluten free & dairy free diets, when made into hummus or cooked without too much fat.

Add the veggie of your choice & turn it into a rainbow delight, the nourishing way for your kids tiffin boxes too. Featured here a sweet-spicy-smokey sweet roasted red pepper hummus to tingle your taste buds with freshly squeezed lime, dash of hot paprika / chilli & oozing with the goodness of olive oil! No more store bought Hummus for you!

Check out the other recipe on how to turn this into a fabulous layered meal.

Recipe for Smokin’ Creamy Red Pepper Hummus


  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, and cut in strips
  • 200 gms chickpeas / kabuli chana
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, with skin
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds, lightly roasted (not bitter)
  • ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil / or more if you like!
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 teaspoons olive oil for sauté
  • 4-6 ice cubes


  1. Soak 200 gms of chickpeas overnight/8 hours in double the quantity of water. Drain the water & wash well.
  2. Pressure cook the chickpeas with ½ teaspoon salt & water about 1 inch above the level of the chickpeas. About 5-7 whistles, until they are totally soft & mushy and the skin separates easily.
  3. You can use canned chickpeas as well, drained & rinsed.
  4. When slightly cooled & possible to handle, drain the chickpeas & save the liquid.
  5. Remove their skins for the creamiest hummus ever. This is an optional step & very easy to do while still warm.
  6. Heat a small pan & add 1.5 teaspoons of oil, preferably olive oil/gingelly, else any other.
  7. Add in the red bell pepper strips & garlic cloves with skin & saute on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until well roasted.
  8. Take off from heat and allow it to cool.
  9. In the large jar of the food processor, add the roasted bell peppers, garlic, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, salt, lemon juice & 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Run the food processor for about 1 minute until all combines well.
  10. Add the drained chickpeas with 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid & 1 ice cube. Run it again for about 3 minutes & check for spice & salt levels.
  11. Now add 3 ice cubes & run it for another 3-4 minutes until you reach the desired creamy paste consistency.
  12. When ready to serve, top your roasted red pepper hummus with two more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a few roasted pumpkin seeds for flavour.
  13. Add a pinch of chilli powder for garnish, if you like.
  14. Serve with warm pita bread and sliced veggies for dipping! Enjoy!


  • For a super smooth hummus, overcook the chickpeas and peel them. Retain the skins for a more rustic texture.
  • Try it both ways & see the difference in creaminess for yourself.
  • Ice cubes are the secret ingredient during the making of the best textured hummus.
  • Readymade tahini paste & canned chickpeas can also be used to make hummus, watch for gluten additives.
  • a pinch of sumac powder, if available, would be ideal.
  • Most importantly, ensure to make your hummus atleast 1 hour before serving. Cover & chill it in the refrigerator.
  • Before serving, create a few swirls with the back of a spoon & drizzle some olive oil over it.

Making of Red Pepper Hummus

2 thoughts on “Smokin’ Creamy Red Pepper Hummus

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