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:
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’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.
If you have a keen eye, you might recognise the reclaimed chapatti board in the background from my ‘5 grains to try’ post.
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.
If you find yourself with any leftovers (ha), try smothering a table spoon over fish before cooking or use as a marinade for chicken. It’s a perky addition to a sandwich too!
- 3 Red peppers
- 100g Walnuts
- 1 Tbsp Pomegranate molasses
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Garlic clove, peeled
- ½ Tbsp Chilli flakes
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- ¼ Tsp salt
- Cut the peppers in to wide strips, discarding the stem and seeds. Lay them on a baking sheet, skin side up and grill on a medium heat until the strips are flexible and the skins are starting to char a little.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse until you reach a near smooth consistency.
- Taste the dip and check the spice level. Add more chilli flakes if needed.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve with a drizzle of oil over the top.
If you can't find pomegranate molasses, you can make a substitute by reducing pomegranate juice over a low heat until thick.
Store for up to three days in the fridge, serve at room temperature.
This muhammara recipe is part of Betta Living’s #bettaveggies campaign. They’re inviting people to share their favourite vegetarian recipes . Since they got in touch and asked me to be part of their campaign, I’ve been browsing their website and dreaming of our kitchen renovation.
If you watched the Great British Bake Off this year, you might have been lusting after their ovens with the slide away doors like I was. I think they might have been the Neff Slide and Hide and I want one! Anyway, until our oven works again, I’ll be testing at my Parent’s house, which also comes with a handy dishwasher.
Oh and if you do make this and you’ve tried Nando’s red pepper dip, can you let me know if this is similar? I’m intrigued…