On a trip to Istanbul my friends and I were blown away by the mezze plates and in particular this dip. Originally from Syria there are many slight variations of the recipe of muhammara but the addition of smoked paprika to this one really sets it apart. It’s winning combination of roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic and pomegranate molasses always surprises my dinner guests.
Serves 6 as a mezze
2 Roasted red peppers with skins peeled
1 cup toasted walnuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup of toasted breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoon of olive oil
You have two options here, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers and save yourself some time or you can roast and peel the skins yourself and save some shillings.
Preheat your oven to 180°C, add some oil to a roasting dish and heat in the oven for a few minutes. When the oil is hot enough remove the tray and add the red peppers skin side down. Keep an eye on them and turn once the skin has started to blacken and blister slightly.
Remove the red peppers and give them a minute to cool before placing them into a plastic bag. This allows them to sweat and makes peeling the skin off much easier.
Leave the peppers to cool in the bag and roast the walnuts and breadcrumbs until they are golden. When the peppers have cooled remove the skins and place in a blender with all of the other ingredients. Depending on the texture you prefer you can add a little more oil and pulse for longer for a smoother, more creamy paste. Personally I like it dryer with more bite. Serve along side some flat breads as part of a mezze or on ciabbatta with avocado as a canape.
Share and enjoy!