I had this dip in Turkey, where it is served with other meze, appetizers. You can play with all the amounts to get something you like the taste of. It’s traditionally made with pomegranate molasses, but balsamic vinegar makes a perfect substitute.
Turkish red pepper flakes, or pul biber, are always on the table, as an add-it-yourself condiment for most dishes. They come in mild and hot versions, but even the hot variety is quite mild. You might try substituting Korean chili flakes instead, or use a tiny amount (start with just a pinch) of cayenne or hot sauce, if desired.
Vegan Recipe: Muhammara (Turkish/Middle Eastern Roasted Red Pepper Dip)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1-1/2 cups bread (about 1-2 slices)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 TABLESPOONS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TABLESPOONS pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 TABLESPOON Turkish red pepper flakes, optional*
Roast the red peppers:
Place them directly on or over your gas or electric burners. Turn them until all sides are black and charred. Set aside until they are cool enough to handle, then scrape off the skins and discard them, along with the seeds and stems.
Tip: You can do this over a bowl of water to help get the charred skin off, if necessary (the bits tend to stick to your fingers).
To make the dip:
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until you get a smooth-ish paste. Adjust seasonings if desired.
Find the recipe for Turkish Zucchini Dip here
and the recipe for Turkish Bean Stew here