Recipes

Recipe: Muhammara

A while ago I said that I wanted to share a few recipes for dips. I know very few people who don’t like dips (aside from my ultra fussy other half) but how often do you go beyond hummus, guacamole and that slightly suspicious cheese and chive stuff you get from the supermarket?

Don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but there’s more to life than blended chick peas. So here’s a recipe for a slightly less well-known dip. Packed with flavour and nutrients and it’s a lush red-orange colour from the roasted red peppers. It’s a Syrian dip called Muhammara and I guarantee that it is worth your time to have a go at making it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized red bell peppers
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (if you can’t find it, honey works too)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 50g finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, to finish

Method:

  1. Roast the peppers at 200C for about 30 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they start to blacken
  2. Place the peppers into a bowl and cover with cling film while they cool. When they’re cold enough peel away the skin and remove the seeds. There’s going to be pepper juice everywhere. Pat them dry.
  3. Put the peppers in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chilli flakes and garlic and blend. You’re going for a textured paste here, not a juice, so don’t over do it
  4. Stir in the walnuts and spoon into the container of your choice. Drizzle over the olive oil
  5. Serve at room temperature.

This gets even better after a day, when the flavours really infuse. It’s a lovely spicy-sweet dish and it great served with crudités, toasted pita or even corn chips. Using pomegranate molasses is definitely more authentic but I can never find the stuff (a good Middle Eastern grocer would be the place to look) and honey definitely works. Taste as you go, though, there’s plenty of sweetness in the peppers already.

I hope you enjoy this if you try making it. Let me know if you do!

 

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