We have a confession: we love hummus. We love it as a healthy condiment on a sandwich, as a dip for crispy crudites, or simply spread on a cracker. We can’t get enough of the creamy, dreamy stuff!

We asked our resident hummus expert, CJ Jacobson, Chef / Partner at Ema and Aba, to give us the scoop on how to spice up our normal hummus recipe with the addition of roasted red and yellow bell peppers, chili paste, fresh piquillo peppers and Peruvian sweety drops. Here is Chef CJ’s recipe for his signature Spicy Hummus from Ema.

To download the printable version of this recipe, click here.

Click here to order carryout or delivery from Aba. 

Spicy Hummus from Ema


Serves 3-4


For the hummus
1/4 pound cooked garbanzo beans (recipe below) or use canned, reserving the liquid
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tsp tahini
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp bean cooking water (or liquid from the canned garbanzo beans, if using)
1/2 tsp salt

For the spicy peppers
1/2 pound red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1/2 pound yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1/2 pound piquillo peppers
1/2 cup sambal oloek (Indonesian chile paste)
3 tbsp sweety drops (Peruvian peppers)
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp anchovy, minced
1 tsp Sherry vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


To prepare the hummus
1. Add the hot garbanzo beans to a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
2. Process for 4 to 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
3. Spoon into a container and clean the food processor.

To prepare the spicy peppers
1. Roast the red and yellow bell peppers on a range burner or grill on high. Once the pepper turns black, rotate, and do again until all sides are charred. Place peppers in a bowl and cover.
2. Wait ten minutes and then peel off the skin. Roughly chop.
3. Place the bell peppers in a food processor and pulse until chunky.
4. Add piquillo peppers, sambal oloek, sweety drops, fish sauce, basil, parsley, anchovy, Sherry vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice into the food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
5. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble the dish
1. Spoon hummus onto a plate.
2. Top with the spicy pepper mixture.



1 pound dried garbanzo beans
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda


1. Soak the beans in 1 gallon water overnight; drain.
2. Add the beans, salt, and baking soda to a pot and cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans are very soft, about 1 hour.
4. Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.