Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Muhammara - Roasted Pepper and Walnut Dip

NOLA - truly a place for R&R. We had a great time eating, walking around the town ogling at beautiful mansions and strolling along the Mississippi riverfront. We skipped the usual things that 1st time visitors do (read getting drunk at Bourbon street :-)) and instead did lots of walking around the town so we were truly primed well to enjoy the food scene. We had great dining experiences despite our initial reservations about finding vegetarian food in a city where shrimp and sausage rule. Though we missed eating vegan jambalaya and gumbo (yes, you read that right!), we managed to indulge in different ethnic cuisines ranging from Greek to Ethiopian to Middle-eastern - not to forget the amazing French macaroons from Sucre'.  My first meal there was a plate of roasted vegetables with muhammara. It was simply out of this world - vegetables roasted to perfection, fruits at room temperature (NO cold fruits for me!!) and I also discovered another oft heard but never tried vegetable - Heart of Palms. That was a revelation as well but that story is for another day. Overall this trip turned out much better than we had expected and we already have a list to things to do if/when we get a chance to go back to NOLA, enjoy some of the local flavors that we missed - Cajun/Creole cooking, Blues/Jazz. Hoping we get to do that some day.

Here's the recipe for Muhammara, easy to make and all it requires is a few whirls in the processor.

  • Pomegranate molasses makes this dip very authentic but I am yet to find one for my kitchen. I used honey and though it may not be authentic it tasted just as if not better.
  • I used roasted red peppers from the store but you can roast your own in a 450F oven for 20 min or until the skin turns black.
  • Serving suggestions for this dip are endless - it is great as a sandwich spread, with pita chips, fresh pitas, roasted or raw vegetables. Or best yet its amazing with hot basmati rice !! Almost like eating South Indian "thogayal" :-)
4-5 Roasted red or yellow peppers, cut into bite sized chunks
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or honey)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice

  1. In a food processor pulse the walnuts to a coarse powder. 
  2. Now add rest of the ingredients and pulse just until all the ingredients are well combined. Take care not to pulse it into a fine paste.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt and lemon juice). 
  4. Serve with pita chips, roasted or raw vegetables.

Enjoy !!


Jay said...

truly tempting..excellent presentation
Tasty Appetite

Rev said...

wow! but how do I follow you!? dont see any button on your space.

Subhie Arun said...

V tempting ... Frst time here ... Lov ur collections.. Hapi to follow u .. Glad if u do the same