• Muhammara (Turkish walnut-capsicum dip) (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

I've added pomegranate molasses and preserved lemon for a bit of tang to this classic Turkish roasted capsicum and walnut dip.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (28 votes)


  • 3 red capsicums, halved
  • 50 g chopped walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper flakes (see Note)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ¼ tsp chopped preserved lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (see Note)
  • extra virgin olive oil, to thin
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • simit (Turkish sesame bread), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 15 minutes

Place the capsicum, skin-side up, under a hot grill and char until blackened in places. Remove, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave until cooled. Remove and discard the skin. Roughly chop the flesh.

Place the capsicum and walnuts in a large mortar and bash with a pestle until a rough paste forms (you can also use a food processor).

Add the spices, garlic, preserved lemon and breadcrumbs and bash until combined.

Add the molasses and enough oil to make a smooth paste.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve with the simit for dipping.


Cook's notes

• Aleppo pepper flakes are available online or from Middle Eastern grocers. You can substitute 1 part cayenne powder combined with 3 parts sweet paprika. 

• Pomegranate molasses is available from the dressing or international aisle in some supermarkets, and also from specialty grocers. 


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.