Malta and Muhammara



Last month, I went to Malta to visit my friend Paris, who’s recently moved there. I didn’t really know what to expect from the tiny Mediterranean island, as I booked my flights last minute, so there was little time for any pre-holiday research. So I just had to turn up and let it unfold. From cliff-top parties to swimming in azure blue sea, to g&ts on the balcony, there were many memorable moments.



There was one particular café we frequented for lunch, so much so that the owner would inquire ‘you want some more hummus?!’ every time we entered. But perhaps the most memorable meal was at a Lebanese restaurant. We ordered hummus (of course) and the Syrian roasted red pepper dip and walnut dip, Muhammara. This was unlike anything I’ve had before, so I immediately looked up the recipe and had a bash at recreating it. Of course, this is nothing like the original (especially as I burnt my peppers slightly) but given food is so much about context, it never is.



This recipe is adapted from 101 cookbooks.


Makes enough for 4 to share as a part of a starter.


2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 slice wholemeal bread, processed into breadcrumbs

50g walnuts

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tomato puree

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cumin


Preheat the oven to 150C. Spread the peppers out on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until charred slightly. Blend with all the other ingredients, then add a little warm water until the mixture reaches a good dip consistency. Serve with plenty of toasted pitta bread.



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