Pilpelchuma (Hebrew: פלפלצ'ומה), also spelled pilpelshuma (lit: "pepper garlic"), is a chili-garlic paste similar to a hot sauce originating from the Libyan Jews and commonly used in Israeli cuisine.[1][2]

Alternative namesPilpelshuma, Filfelchuma, Filfel chuma
CourseChili garlic paste
Place of originIsrael
Created byLibyan Jews
Main ingredientsDried and steamed red peppers, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and spices, salt


Pilpelchuma traditionally has been the main condiment in Libyan Jewish cuisine. Pilpelchuma made its way into Israeli cuisine in the mid-20th century with the migration of the community to Israel. Pilpelchuma has a consistency similar to tomato paste, and is available in Israel in packaged form typically in a tube or jar. Pilpelchuma is also commonly made at home. The two main ingredients of pilpelchuma are dried sweet and hot peppers that have been steamed and garlic. Other ingredients are olive oil, ground cumin and caraway seeds, lemon juice and kosher salt.[1]

Uses and popularity

Pilpelchuma is used as a condiment and as an ingredient in dishes such as salads, meat, fish, legumes and rice dishes. Today in Israel it is a popular condiment used in falafel sandwiches, shawarma, chicken schnitzel, sabich, and to top hummus. It is especially popular in Jerusalem,[3] where it is used in the local variety of shakshuka uses pilpelchuma as the area is home to a large Libyan Jewish community.[4][5]

In recent years pilpelchuma has become popular in the west and is used as a condiment in such dishes as potato salad.[6]

See also


  1. Shaya, Alon. Shaya. Knopf.
  2. Gur, Janna. The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey'. Schocken Books.
  3. "PILPELCHUMA: JERUSALEM'S CHILI PASTE". A Crust Eaten. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  4. Lebovitz, David (14 February 2013). "Shakshuka". David Lebovitz. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  5. Ottolenghi & Tamimi, Yotam and Sami. Jerusalem: A Cookbook. PRH.
  6. Yeh, Molly. "pilpelchuma potato salad". My Name is Yeh. Retrieved 4 March 2021.

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