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Muhammara (red pepper dip)

Everyone has there own version of this spicy Syrian red pepper dip. The main ingredients are red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses, the rest is pretty much a matter of taste. The ingredients below give a fairly spicy version, add a little less of the Aleppo pepper if you like a bit less heat. It is very quick and easy to make and is delicious served with flatbreads or baked pitta triangles.

The picture was taken in our garden under a walnut tree, which was a lovely backdrop. Unfortunately we have never eaten a single nut from the tree as the squirrels always get there first, so the walnuts are from Waitrose.

Ingredients - makes about 130ml or fills one large ramekin.

1 large red pepper

40g walnuts

15g breadcrumbs (gluten free or regular)

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Aleppo pepper or pul biber (Syrian or Turkish mild and fruity dried chilli)

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses


Toast walnuts at 175°c for 10 minutes. Roughly chop, reserving about a quarter to sprinkle on the finished dip.

Cut pepper in half and grill until charred. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film, so that the steam loosens the skin. Peel the skin off and place the pepper in a food processor with the other ingredients.

Whizz everything together until you get the consistency you like, it doesn’t have to be completely smooth.

Serve with the reserved walnuts sprinkled on top and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Crisps, toasted pitta or flatbreads are good to serve alongside. The dip can be made the day before required, but sprinkle the reserved walnuts when you are ready to serve it. It is also great served as part of a mezze selection.

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