Purists, look away now. Because this recipe will probably have you reaching for the comment section in a frenzy of outrage.
Lovers of simplicity and a care-free life away from the shackles of recipe rules, rejoice! Because this one’s for you.
My Store Cupboard Muhammara is a response to wanting to enjoy a delicious home-made version of this Levantine dip, but not having the exact ingredients to hand. Because let’s face it – most people don’t have pomegranate molasses and Aleppo chilli flakes in their cupboards.
(If you happen to be basking in pomegranate glory, by all means check out this true-to-form recipe from Ottolenghi.)
This one’s for the masses. The lovers of mezze who worry about trying out something different in their own kitchen, and think this is the sort of thing other people make.
Muhammara, if you haven’t tried it, is delicious. Built on rich foundations of peppers and walnuts, this is a tangy, warm, nutty and punchy little dip. I say ‘dip’, but you can use it in so many ways:
- as it is, with toasted pita, carrots and olives;
- spread on chunky bread or crackers;
- in a sauce, as a perky little accompaniment; and
- all dressed up on something beautiful – as you’ll see in my next recipe!
I’ve simplified the recipe both in terms of ingredients and process. So all you need to grab out of the cupboard are:
- red peppers
- a lemon
- something sweet – dates or coconut sugar
- cumin, chilli, salt and pepper.
I’ve dispensed with the breadcrumbs, because I’ve found the finished dip thickens in the fridge.
All you need to do is char or roast the peppers, then whiz everything together. If you really want to retain some tradition, and have a strong arm, go ahead and use a pestle and mortar.
Before I share a really quite wonderful recipe with you that is just the perfect backdrop to the bright red dollops of this Store Cupboard Muhammara, how about making it to go alongside some Lemon and Thyme Baba Ghanoush, a lovely 3-Ingredient Kalamata Tapenade and a fresh Kale Fattoush?
It is summer, after all.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 100g walnuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 date, or 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Set the grill to a high heat and place the peppers on a foil-lined tray.
- Grill the peppers for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. They should take on a blackened appearance and be soft all the way through.
- Once cooked, leave the peppers to cool for a little while before peeling away the charred skins and discarding the seeds.
- Meanwhile, roughly blitz the walnuts in a food processor and put them in a bowl. You don't want a powder, so only give them a couple of seconds.
- Put the peeled and deseeded peppers along with the rest of the ingredients (bar the walnuts) into the food processor. Pulse until combined.
- Add this to the walnuts and give it a good stir.
- Store in a sterilised container in the fridge - it should last for at least a week.
And a free PDF guide to vegan London?