This time a little bit oriental food. Though the name ‘muhammara’ sounds like Polish name of beautiful red, but poisonous mushroom- toadstool (in Polish: muhomor). However, this dip has nothing in common with Poland. It’s widely known in Georgia, Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon. It can be made of raw or roasted red peppercorns, but it always has to be spicy. The important ingredient are also walnuts and pomegranate molasses. I first tried muhammara in Cracow restaurant Hamsa and it was so delicious that I knew I would be doing it at home all the time. Characteristic, a little bit sweet taste of roasted pepper is balance perfectly by intense and earthy flavour of walnuts. Pomegranate molasses gives even more sweetness but on the opposite edge we have strong cumin and hot harrisa. It tastes the best on Levatine manakish, a yeast bread served with zaatar, which will be on the blog soon. Despite oriental roots of muhammara, it also tastes great with classical bread with fresh parsley leaves or arugula.
As a start I use Yotam Ottolenghi recipe
3 red peppercorns (abuot 500- 600g)
50g bread (about 2 slices)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup walnuts (50g)
3 tbsp olive oil
* you can pomegranate syrup or reduce juice, because molasses may be not so easy to get in regular shops
** you can use all types and forms of harrisa, but also chili powder or flakes in amount depending on your taste
1. Place whole peppercorns on baking tray. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Bake peppers for about 40 minutes, turning from time to time. Remove from the oven, put in the bowl/pan and cover it. Set aside to cool.
2. Peel the skins and remove non edible parts of peppers. Drain excessive fluids from the flesh.
3. On the hot frying pan roast the walnuts until you smell the aroma.
4. Mix all ingredients, execpt harrisa. Blend until smooth. Add harrisa or chili in amount suiting your taste. Season with salt.
5. Served poured with olive oil, with a lot of greens like coriander or parsley and sesame seeds.
protein: 18,4 g; fats: 75 g; carbohydrates: 75 g, fibre: 16,1 g;
iron: 7,5 mg; calcium: 222 mg; zinc: 5,2 mg