Muhammara: Roasted Red Pepper Dip
I have never been a huge fan of peppers but this has become a household favourite, we simply can't get enough of it!
Muhammara is a Middle Eastern walnut and roasted red pepper dip that’s combines all the flavours: savoury, sweet, a little bit of smokiness, and a touch of spice! It’s simple to make and you can serve it with warm pita as part of a Mezze platter, spread it on your sandwiches, or scoop it on top of grilled chicken or fish.
2 -3 red bell peppers (depending on size)
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
100g shelled toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove roughly chopped
2 ½ tbsp tomato paste
85g bread crumbs
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1-2 tsp chilli pepper (the original recipe for Aleppo Pepper if you can find this - I use a spicy Sundanese chilli that my family love but is pretty fiery) You can avoid the chilli completely if spice is not your thing.
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp sumac
½ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
Brush the peppers with some olive oil, and place on a foiled oven tray. Roast the peppers in 20-30 minutes, or until they are visibily charred, turn them over once or twice.
Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a bowl. Cover with cling film for a few minutes. This helpt to trap the steam from the roasted peppers, and makes it much easier to peel them. When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers, remove the seeds and slice into small strips.
Combine the roasted red pepper strips with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, tomato paste, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses, chilli pepper, sugar, sumac, and salt. Blend into a smooth paste.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil, some fresh herbs (I like either parslet or mint), some walnut halves, pomegranate seeds or even extra chilla. Serve with bread or pita chips.
Last time I made this I used Florina Peppers which worked really well - but as they are a bit smaller use 4-5 of them.
Can also be made with jarred roasted peppers to save time.