Traditionally muhammara (meaning ‘reddened’) is made with roasted red peppers and is one of our all-time favorite dips. This is an alternative take on the classic recipe originating from Syria, though common in most Middle Eastern households.
Here we replace the peppers with beetroot, adding a few tweaks along the way. It’s absolutely divine particularly with the nuttiness of the argan oil, and not to mention produces the most incredible colour- these photos are unedited!
- 3 x raw beetroot each roughly the size of a tennis ball
- 1/2 a medium strength fresh red chilli
- 1 handful of fresh coriander
- 100g walnuts plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon of full fat yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of argan oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- ½ a clove of garlic
- ½ a teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- Feta Cheese for garnish
Wrap the raw beetroot in foil and place in the oven at 180oC for about 40 minutes - until you can easily stick a knife through. When ready, unwrap and allow to cool.
In the meantime, lightly dry-roast the walnuts in a pan, taking care not to burn them. You can use them raw but the toasting does make a significant difference to the flavor. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Peel and chop the cooked beetroot and add to a blender along with the chilli, coriander, garlic, walnuts, yoghurt, cumin, salt, pepper, argan oil, zest of half the lemon and a squeeze of the juice.
Whizz to the desired consistency, we prefer it with a bit of crunch but smooth also works well. Spoon into a dish, garnish with some of the leftover toasted walnuts, a sprinkle of chopped coriander, crumbled feta cheese and a generous drizzling of argan oil.
- This is a highly nutritious dip, beetroot is rich in antioxidants and a good source of iron, and is known to reduce hypertension and purify the blood. Walnuts are the healthiest nut according to scientists, and in particular they help to improve memory and brain function. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and has been proven to aid digestion, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- It’s a real crowd-pleaser as it’s a culinary and visual delight.
- It’s the perfect thing to prepare the day before as the flavours will only intensify overnight. It will keep well for a few days.
- Enjoy with bread or crackers, along side other dips, salads, roast vegetables, or chicken.
- Alternative toppings you could try includes fresh pomegranate, parsley, pistachio, or our argan oil toasted crunchy chickpeas coming soon!
- We strongly advise against using pre-packed cooked beetroot as the flavour and texture doesn’t compare.
- For a vegan alternative you can omit the yoghurt and feta cheese.
- Finally, don't get too caught up in the proportions, it's hard to go wrong but you should end up with something that has a bit of zing to it to balance out the sweetness of the beetroot.