Muhammara – Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Paste
2 large red peppers (capsicums) blistered with the skin removed
1 small hot red chili chopped with the placental skin removed
½ cup – 1 cup (about 1- 2 slices) of gluten free bread crumbled up
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 tsp yellow asafetida powder
1 Tbsp or 1 ½ Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
3 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley to serve
Roast the peppers for about 15 minutes until skin is blistered and blackened. Place in a plastic bag and seal and allow to cool a little before skinning.
Combine all the other ingredients except the parsley in a food processor and blend until you get a thick creamy paste. Start with 1 slice of gluten free bread, and if that is not enough to get the desired consistency gradually add some more.
You might want to add in more lemon juice, molasses or olive oil to taste. But I think this blend is perfect.
Serve with sprinkled parsley and toasted ciabatta, pita bread, flat bread or vegetable sticks.
This dip gets better with age and tastes better the next day. It will keep for about 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge. YUM!
Pairs Well With
Whenever I am looking for a show-stopping vegan dip I always turn to the recipe collection of Kurma Dasa. Most of Kurma’s cooking is inspired by the flavors of India. However, every once and a while he diverts to explore the culinary delights of other exotic regions. This exquisite Muhammara – or Syrian roast pepper and walnut paste, is a shining example of his quick, easy delicious recipes that will keep you rustling through his books screaming for more inspiration! It is absolutely phenomenal – and bursting with a unique flavor that is memorable. If you are looking for a dip that is really different – this is the one! This dip is complex and vibrant. I have been whipping up this sensational dip to rave reviews for over ten years, and I hope it will become a staple in your “delectable dip” repertoire, just as it has in mine. Just a tip about the addition of the bread – add it gradually to achieve the desired consistency. Because gluten free bread can absorb a lot of moisture, if you add too much at the beginning, you can end up with a dip that is a bit too sticky, and then you are forced to add in more liquids that can really throw off the flavour balance. I find that starting with 1/2 cup of crumbed bread (which is about 1 slice) is usually perfect. But depending on how large your peppers are, you might find that you need a bit more. Don’t go from one to two slices immediately. Just add in a little at a time in order to achieve your perfect blend. This dip is traditionally served spread on crusty bread or toast, but tastes fantastic with raw vegetable sticks. It also makes a wonderful paste spread on vegetable kebabs, burgers, and wraps; or even a rich sweet pasta sauce if thinned out with some olive oil. Either way – this dip is a winner. It is just absolutely delicious.