Muhammara (Spicy Red Pepper) Dip with Pita Chips & Crudites
Muhammara is a delicious, lightly spicy dip that's originally from the Levant countries of Syria and Lebanon. The first time I had it at a Syrian restaurant I was smitten. It's just a glorious, all-purpose dip. Here, I've served it with pita chips and crudites, but it can be served as a sauce or dressing for kebabs or as a spread on a sandwich.
The only finicky part of making this is roasting the red peppers and removing the skin - it cuts down on any bitterness if you get rid of the skin (although if you're running short on time - it's not absolutely necessary). If you want to make it really easy on yourself, you can buy the red peppers pre-roasted and prepared.
The red peppers give this the bulk of the flavor, but the pomegranate molasses and the walnuts are what really take it over the top.
Makes 2 cups | Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes
6 red bell peppers
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup pita chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
Roast whole peppers on a large baking tray for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place in a paper bag or large tupperware and seal for 10 minutes, so steam is trapped. This will loosen the skin.
Meanwhile, add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes, and pita chips to a food processor. Pulse several times to combine.
Remove red peppers one at a time, and remove stem and seeds from each pepper and then gently peel off the skin and discard.
Add the peppers to the food processor and whiz together till mixture is smooth. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too firm and salt to taste.
*Pomegranate molasses recipe can be found on this post.