Magic Muhammara Dip

from Kurma Dasa

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Dairy Free
    Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
    Gluten Free
  • Egg Free
    Egg Free
  • Soy Free
    Soy Free
  • Processor

I got this show-stopping gluten-free muhammara drip from Kurma Dasa during a cooking class I did at The Essential Ingredient in Melbourne years ago, and I've been whipping it up with gratitude ever since.

This Syrian roasted red pepper and walnut dip is bursting with a unique and complex flavor that will make you weak at the knees. Different incantations of this dip are served all over Armenia, Turkey, and Lebanon. There are lots of variations containing cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, garlic, chile, and molasses. Kurma's version uses yellow asafoetida powder in place of cumin. This fantastic ground vegetable powder is a popular flavor enhancer used in Southern Indian cuisine. It tastes like strong onions, and can be found in Indian grocers or online. This powder is great for boosting the flavor of soups, stews and stir-fries.

Another ingredient you may not have come across is pomegranate molasses. This thick syrup made from the concentrated juice of tart pomegranates has a tangy, fruity flavor and is predominantly used in Middle Eastern dishes. You can find this at specialty grocers, Middle Eastern stores, health food stores, or online. It's sometimes labelled as pomegranate syrup. Just make sure the brand you purchase is made from pure pomegranate juice.

Add the gluten-free bread gradually as it absorbs a lot of moisture, and if you add too much at the beginning you can quickly end up with a dip that's too sticky. I find that starting with 1 slice of bread usually strikes a good balance. But depending on how large your bell peppers are you may need to use a bit more. Don’t go from one to two slices immediately. Just add in a tiny bit more at a time to get the perfect blend. Add the chile to taste, too.

Muhammara is traditionally served with crusty bread or toast, but it's also fabulous spread on veggie kebabs, burgers, and wraps; or even as a rich sweet pasta sauce if thinned out with some olive oil.

Either way, this recipe is a stunner.

Magic Muhammara Dip

Magic Muhammara Dip

from Kurma Dasa

Makes 2 Cups30 MINS
  • 2 large red bell peppers, blistered, and skin removed
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 slice gluten-free sandwich bread, plus more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder

  • 1 small red chile, ribbed, seeded, and chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve 
  1. Throw all the ingredients (except the parsley) into a food processor and pulse until you get a thick creamy paste. Add more gluten-free bread if needed. Tweak the lemon juice, molasses, maple syrup, and salt to taste.
  2. Chill in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop (the dip gets better the next day), and the dip to thicken slightly.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the parsley. Serve with toasted ciabatta, pita bread, crackers, or crudités.
  4. The dip will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 days.

Recipe published here with permission from Kurma Dasa.


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