Roasted Bell Pepper and Sunflower Seed Hummus

I have visited the US a few times, and one of the things I miss most is that the supermarkets carry hummus and baba ghannouj in a number of flavors – my favorite being the roasted red bell pepper. Lately the bigger supermarkets in Finland have started carrying one brand of Swedish hummus that is pretty tasty, but they don’t make that flavor. We even found a Finnish hummus, but unfortunately it tastes like baby food. So, since the commercial hummus is still rarely found, making our own is the only way to go!


We were out of olive oil when I first engineered this recipe, so it ended up lower in fat than the hummus we normally make. Also, the red bell pepper we used came from a glass jar, and while home-roasted peppers are more delicious, it was an easy and economical option – bell peppers are ridiculously expensive this time of year, although they are getting a little cheaper as the spring progresses. I am not a huge fan of tahini and add only a little bit, since the sunflower seeds contibute a nice nutty flavor without the bitter edge of the sesame paste.

Here’s what we used this time:

  • 4 dl cooked chick peas
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (from a jar)
  • 1 dl lightly toasted sunflower seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 dl water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or jeera, juustokumina in Finnish)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

I just mixed everything up with our immersion blender. It takes a while until the sunflower seeds get all crushed, probably about 5 minutes.

I always adjust the taste of my hummus by adding a little lemon juice, salt, more chick peas, or even water if the taste isn’t quite balanced in the end. Jarred roasted bell peppers are more acidic than home-roasted, since they’re usually preserved in vinegar, and this affects the flavor balance as well.