Muhammarah: My New Nut Butter
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
There's been a lot of talk of all these new nut butters on the scene. For various reasons, people are beginning to experiment with their indulgent sandwich spreads, and if it's not homemade nowadays, it's just not cool. I admit, even I've dabbled in some almond butter and even some hazelnut butter (let's be real, it's nutella) and yes, they were very delicious, if I may say so my self but how about those non-sweet teeths? The savoury preferrers? We deserve our own cravings to be quenched don't we?
This is by no means a new recipe, I'd like to imagine it was being made way beyond the times of nut butters and food processors, probably with a mortar and pestle actually. I like to picture these scenarios a lot because the recipe originates from my ancestors hometown of Aleppo and I like to imagine my grandma and her possy of ladies making all of these delicious recipes the old fashioned way.
Like I said, Muhammarah is sort of the savoury tooth's nut butter. Usually, it would be described as a red pepper and walnut spread but I think my adaptation is more of a walnut and red pepper spread.
Give it a go whether you have a sweet tooth or not, it's pretty delicious as a mayo, mustard, ketchup or nut butter replacement or even just to dip some veggies into!
Makes approx 200g. (1/2 of a mason jar)
YOU WILL NEED:
1 LARGE RED BELL PEPPER
1 CUP WALNUTS
4 CLOVES GARLIC (PEELED)
1 1/2 TBSP LEMON JUICE
3/4 TSP CUMIN
1/4 TSP PAPRIKA POWDER
1/2 TSP CHILLI FLAKES
1 TBSP POMEGRANATE MOLASSES
1/4 TSP GROUND ALLSPICE
3 TBSP GOOD OLIVE OIL
TO SERVE AS A DIP:
1 HANDFUL FRESH MINT LEAVES
1 HANDFUL FRESH PARSLEY
THINLY SLICED LEMON
Pre-heat the oven to 175C or 250F.
Spread the walnuts out on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until slightly softened. Try one, half way through cooking time to make sure they're not getting bitter. (One minute too many and they can get quite bitter).
Place the pepper on a separate baking dish or tray and roast for approximately 15 minutes or until browning and soft. (See photo above). Once the walnuts are out of the oven you may turn the temperature up to 200C or 400F.
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth but still has texture. About 10-20 seconds. (The nuts should not be completely liquidized).
Store in an air tight container or a jar. If you're serving as a dip immediately sprinkle with the fresh mint, parsley, lemon slices and a drizzle of good olive oil. (Add extra chilli flakes to your taste).