3 red peppers
50g fresh breadcrumbs
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried Aleppo chilli flakes
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
50g walnuts, finely chopped by hand
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
This classic Levantine dip can be made in a food processor, but it will lose some of its lovely texture; I'd use a pestle and mortar, if you can. Muhammara keeps well and even improves after a day in the fridge; just don't serve it fridge-cold. Serves four as a dip.
Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are cooked and the skin is blackened. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling-film and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin and seeds.
Pat the peppers dry, and place in a mortar. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chilli and garlic. Work this with a pestle until well combined, but not so much that the peppers no longer have a noticeable texture.
Stir through the walnuts, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and the olive oil. Add more pomegranate molasses and salt to taste – you want the flavours to be pretty intense. Spoon the dip into a shallow bowl, using the back of a spoon to give it a wavy texture, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
Vegetable and vegetarian
Query on cooking the peppers
Would it be alright if I roasted the peppers on the gas? I do this with aubergines when making babaghanoush, and it gives them a lovely smoky flavour. I love muhammara.
REPLY: "Yes, roasting the peppers over the open hob flame will achieve the same result, however the peppers will cook (and burn) faster. Keep a constant watch over the peppers, as the cooking time will greatly reduce."
- Vegetable and vegetarian Utterly gorgeous Judy (15/07/2016) Something really delicious to have alongside other mezzes for a perfect nibble scoop and share meal.
- Vegetable and vegetarian Delicious Mary (27/06/2016) I make this every week. I like it as a dip. I like it as a sauce for spaghetti. It is utterly delicious. I slice up the peppers and roast them for 40 mins in oven, so I use the skin as well as I am too lazy to bother to remove the skin. It's so tasty.
- Vegetable and vegetarian Delicious. Easy to make. Imelda (07/04/2015) Just make it and taste it.