Muhammara with spiced bread


1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
3 red capsicums
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup (50g) walnuts
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see note)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 large pita bread rounds
2 teaspoons sumac (see note), plus extra to sprinkle


1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

Rub 2 teaspoons oil over the capsicums. Place on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until soft. Turn off the oven and leave for a further 20 minutes until skins are wrinkled.

Place capsicums in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then cool for 10 minutes. Halve, then remove skin and seeds.

Place capsicum, garlic, nuts, molasses, lemon juice, cumin, chilli and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor and whiz until a coarse puree. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and chill for up to 2 days.

5) Place the pita bread on a baking tray and lightly brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle with the sumac, then bake for 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool, then break pita into pieces and serve with dip, sprinkled with extra sumac.

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Note: Pomegranate molasses (a tart syrup) and sumac (a lemony spice made from ground dried berries) are from Middle Eastern shops and selected supermarkets. This Syrian dip has a rich and nutty flavour. You can serve it with the spiced bread to dip, or use it as a baste for grilled fish, lamb or chicken.

Photography by Mark Roper