Muhammara – the ‘must make’ red pepper dip

Muhammara, the Levantine roasted red pepper and walnut dip is my new favourite thing in the world. Sweet, spicy, smokey, unbelievably moreish and really simple- which is a good job because the thermostat on our oven no longer works!

Take a moment to appreciate this wonder:

red pepper dip recipe

Let me tell you why it’s an extra special find for me.

When I was younger, I was a vegetarian and that only changed when I was eighteen. During that time, I discovered hummus in all its garlicky goodness. The chickpea content makes it a wonderful source of protein, it’s dippable, spreadable and ridiculously versatile. The problem is that it became the veggie option that was hawked out at every get together. Platters of cured meats, pâté, sausages… and for me? Never ending supplies of hummus. I was fed up of seeing it.

I really wish I had this muhammara recipe back then. National Vegetarian Week feels the perfect time to share it with you all.
nandos red pepper dip

I’ve been eating this batch with warmed pita, carrot sticks or celery. When I ran out of pita last week I was more than happy to finish it off with some crisps. Heck, I’ve even flung a spoon straight in to the bowl.

Traditionally this would be served with a thread of oil running over the top. I also like to add a trail of spices, that way you can go for the oil for a milder dip, or the spices for those that like it hotter and as a bonus, it looks pretty.
muhammara recipe

I’ve pared this muhamarra recipe down to the bones of a traditional dish and I love what I’ve found. Some recipes use breadcrumbs, but I honestly think the walnuts are all it needs. I also skip the fiddly peeling of the peppers because leaving the skins in doesn’t change the texture enough to warrant the work.

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