Muhammara (Syrian roasted red pepper and walnut dip)
This traditional Syrian dip is rich and vibrant. It's savory and satisfying with a fruitiness from the roasted peppers and pomegranate molasses.
- 2 red bell peppers roasted, peeled and deseeded (use this method if you have a steam oven, otherwise you can grill them in a very hot oven or over a flame until they’re blackened and the skin is blistered)
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ clove garlic peeled (use a full clove if you love garlic, I just find it a bit overpowering when it’s raw)
- 1 tbs tomato paste optional, but it adds a nice depth of both flavour and colour
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs 100g (I blend up stale bread and keep crumbs in the freezer, but you could use pre-made store bought ones. You’ll need less of them because they’re very dry, probably around half a cup)
- 2 tbs pomegranate molasses balsamic vinegar would be the next best thing if you can’t get it, though your dip won’t have the same sweetness and balance as the molasses version
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes regular pepper or chili flakes would do if that’s all you have, but don’t use too much, the aim is warmth rather than spicy heat
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and run it until you have a smooth, thick dip. Open the lid and taste – you may want to adjust your seasonings, adding a touch more salt or sugar, or some extra pomegranate molasses. If it’s too thick, add a little more olive oil.
Scoop the dip into a serving bowl and drizzle with extra oil, then sprinkled with chopped parsley and walnuts if you like. Serve immediately, or store, covered, in the fridge, for up to a couple of days. Bring the dip to room temperature before serving.
- Makes about 3 cups – enough for a large bowl of dip.
- This recipe was inspired by and adapted from one at The Mediterranean Dish.
- The Aleppo pepper and pomegranate molasses in this recipe can be a little hard to get hold of depending on where you live, but some good supermarkets carry them and they’re readily available online. If you’re buying them especially for this recipe, don’t worry about what you’ll use the leftover pepper or molasses for. Aleppo pepper can be used in any recipe where red pepper flakes are called for, and the pomegranate molasses is amazingly versatile – try it as a unique and delicious topping for ice cream, or as a slightly sweeter, fragrant substitute where you’d usually use balsamic vinegar in dressings and sauces.
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 691IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg