This is my take on Muhammara: a spicy Lebanese dip made with roasted red peppers and walnuts. I love how blackening red peppers under the grill gives them a wonderfully smoky and intense aroma, and the addition of dried chilli, cumin and garlic means this dish is all about strong warm flavours. Instead of the more commonly used breadcrumbs, I decided to use quinoa to create body and texture alongside crunchy bits of walnut. Eat on its own as a side dish or salad, as a dip (cucumber or celery sticks work really well), or simply spread it on a piece of toast.
2 red romero peppers or bell peppers,
20-25 g quinoa
3 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey/pomegranate molasses*
Few drops of lemon juice
Good pinch of ground cumin
1 dried bird’s eye chilli
*(I couldn’t get hold of pomegranate molasses so I substituted honey and lemon juice, not quite the same, but also very tasty)
- Roast the peppers under the grill for 10 minutes on each side (more detailed instructions here). Leave to cool, then discard the peel and seeds. Chop very finely.
- Boil the quinoa in 75ml water, until the seeds are cooked and all the water has evaporated (no one wants soggy quinoa).
- Mix the quinoa and the chopped peppers in a bowl.
- Add the chopped walnuts, olive oil, crumbled dried chilli, honey+lemon juice/molasses, salt, garlic and cumin.
- Stir well to combine and adjust the seasoning if necessary.