Outstanding Walnut Dip (Muhammara)

This was one of my most favorite dishes in Turkey. It is such a simple combination of a few ingedients that creates a dip that really is quite spectacular. I got this basic recipe from Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook. You can also find more Turkish recipes at her site at http://www.turkishcookbook.com/2006/06/muhammara.php.

The only thing that I added to his recipe was pomegranate molasses. I find that adding a little bit of this just brings out the flavors of this dish so much more. Pomegranate molasses is available at any middle eastern store. Another ingredient that you will need is red pepper paste which is also available at middle eastern stores but just in case you cant find either I have provided easy recipes on how to make them. You can double or triple this recipe according to how many you are serving.

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Muhammara

Binnur’s Muhammara Recipe

1 tablespoonful red pepper paste, if you can’t find it; use 2 roasted red peppers instead – do not use roasted red pepper in a jar

3/4 cup walnuts

4-5 tablespoonful breadcrumbs(I used Panko)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used less)

1 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

3 garlic clove (optional)

1 tbsp red pepper, crushed

1 teaspoonful cumin

1 lemon juice

  • Put the walnut, garlic and breadcrumbs in the food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times.
  • Add the lemon juice, red pepper paste (or roasted red peppers), pomegranate molasses, cumin and crushed red pepper.
  • Close the lid of the mixer.
  • While mixing, pour in the olive oil from the small opening at the top.
  • Make sure not to over-mix, the walnuts should still be left in small pieces.
  • Serve with toasted pita or toasted bread pieces.
Garlic,bread crumbs,walnut

Garlic,bread crumbs,walnut

Chopping the ingredients

Chopping the ingredients

Add red pepper paste

Add red pepper paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muhammara

Muhammara

 

Roasted Red Pepper (courtesy Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook)

  • Cut off the tops of the red peppers.
  • Discard the seeds.
  • Cut each pepper in half. Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up.
  • Place the red peppers on an oven tray (inside facing down) and place in the oven.
  • Roast them for about 15 minutes.
  • Leave them in a paper or plastic bag for about 10 minutes to peel off the skin easily.

Pomegranate Molasses (courtesy Alton Brown)

4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, approximately 70 minutes.
  • It should be the consistency of thick syrup.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

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