I find Bell Peppers to be the most beautiful vegetable. I have talked in length about this in my Charred Bell Pepper and Pine Nut Pasta Recipe. So I will not yap about it anymore. I had a few bell peppers in my fridge and I was looking for some interesting recipe to put them to use other than using them for pastas and stir fries. That’s when I came across this Syrian Recipe of Muhammara. This was the most interesting dip I have ever made. The addition of Pomegranate Molasses gives it that additional tangy kick which cannot be described in words. And walnuts adds magic to the dip and makes it absolutely irrepressible. 

Specially when Diwali is right around the corner, I have planned this for my teen patti or poker parties wherein you can munch crackers or salad sticks with this  delicious dip. If you have a party in your house you shouldn’t think twice just make this and amaze your friends.


1. Take some Red Bell Peppers and roast them in an oven and remove its skin and also discard its inner membranes and seeds. Learn how to roast Bell Peppers here. Add the pulp of the pepper in a blender.

2. Add chopped Onions or scallions to what ever you find it easily. Also add cumin powder and salt.



3. Add Pomegranate Molasses and red chili flakes or if can lay your hands on Aleppo Pepper.   



4. Add juice of lemon and a generous drizzle of Olive oil.



5. Add walnuts and blitz everything together,



6. Now add bread crumb or u can even add panko. And blitz again in the blender till you get a smooth thick dip like consistency. Add more bread crumb and pulse if the dip is still loose. 



7. Transfer the dip in a serving bowl and make a swirling well in the center with the back of a spoon and add a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some crushed walnuts. Serve with crackers, cucumber sticks, lavaash, pita bread and anything else you fancy 🙂

Other dips you can try are: Greek Purslane Yogurt Dip Indian Plum & Mint DipCharred Aubergine Curd DipBathua Ka Raita.

Other dishes with Red Bell Pepper you can try are: Charred Bell Pepper and Pine Nut Pasta RecipeRoasted Bell Pepper & Black Eyed Peas SaladRed Chilli & Red Bell Pepper JamMalai Bell Pepper MushroomSautéed Red Bell Pepper and Olive Pasta Salad.


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Authentic Italian Pesto needs no prelude. If you have pesto in your pantry I can assure you, you can do so many things with it. It makes fabulous pasta dishes, makes a delicious marinade for your meats, a lip smacking filling for the Bread and the list is endless. Last time I made a huge batch of pesto and it was devoured by my husband simply by smearing on bread. I saved (read hid) a little for the Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes . I shall soon be sharing its recipe.

The essential thing about the pesto is that each and every ingredient in this recipes plays a very crucial role. So please choose good quality ingredients which makes a huge difference in the taste. Other than this its not rocket science to make this salsa. Simply put the ingredients in blender and blitz.

1. Remove the pine nuts from the shell and toast them on a pan on a medium low flame, till they become slightly golden in colour. Do not burn them. Set them aside to cool down.



2. In a chutney grinder add fresh basil leaves, thoroughly washed and separated from stems. Also add garlic cloves.



3. Add toasted pine nuts.



4. Add zest of a lemon and then cut it and squeeze in its juice.



5. Season with Salt and freshly ground Black pepper.



6. Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and blend together into a creamy paste. If the blending gets difficult add more olive oil.



7.  Now add grated Parmesan Cheese to the pesto blend and combine.

8. Your pesto is ready to be used. You can transfer it to a glass jar to store in refrigerator and top it up a little Olive oil so that the moisture stays intact and it doesn’t come in contact with air. This will increase its shelf life.

You can make Chicken Pesto Pasta with this.You can also try Parsley Pistachio Pesto for a new variation.

Other Salsas and Chutney you can try on the Secret Ingredient are: Argentine Chimichurri SalsaSweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneyPudina ChutneyGreek Purslane Yogurt DipRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and Coriander.


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I had a Turkish employer in Mexico, the Studio me and my husband worked for. He introduced us to this Purslane Dip when he invited us for dinner at his place. I looked at the leaves and exclaimed “Kulfa!” It was native to my motherland. You dont know the feeling when you find something or someone from your country. I am glad my mother had made me try this vegetable so I instantly recognised it. But unlike Indians they dont make a saag with this. Instead they eat it like a dip with breads or crackers. The idea was new for me and all I can say it was a delicious idea.  


Last time when I visited INA Market I found Kulfa. I instantly bought it. When I reached home I decided to make this dip. Oh it was healthy and so refreshing. If yo can lay your hands on kulfa do spare a little bunch for this different yet tasty dip. You can pull this together in minutes and doesn’t require any cooking.


1. Separate the leaves of purslane from the stems.

2. Run it thorughly under water and check for any grit.Coarsely chop them. Set aside.


3. Whisk thick creamy Yogurt in a bowl. You can use Greek yogurt or hung curd. Grate garlic into the yogurt.


4. Add Olive Oil.


5. Season it with Salt and Pepper.



6. Add washed leaves of purslane to the yogurt and combine well.

7. Chill it in the refrigerator and serve with Crackers or Bread of your choice.

Other Raita or yogurt based dishes you can try are : Bathua ka Raita, Aloo Anaar ka Raita, Baigan ka Raita.


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Last week we baked some beautiful buns and decided to make some burgers for dinner. I decided to make Broccoli Patties for the burger but then I thought I dont have any sauce to go with it. I dont like (read “hate”) ketchup. Then something struck me, I had a lot of Parsley which was on the verge of turning yellow. I decided to make a pesto with it.


With a handful ingredients the parsley pesto came out delicious and went very well with the Broccoli Patties Burger. You can use this as a marinade for your meat or simply as a dip for your croquettes. Its a versatile dip with a sharp flavour which you wouldn’t like to miss. Its a close kin to Argentine Chimichurri but still has its own unique flavour.


1.  Separate the leaves of parsley from the stem and wash them thoroughly for any grit. Put them in a chutney blender.


2. Add Garlic Cloves.

3. Add salted Pistachios without the shell to the blender.

DSC058464. Add Olive oil.

5. Season with Salt and Pepper and add juice of lemon (not in pictures).



6. Blend together into a smooth paste. If you feel its not blending easily you may add a little more olive oil. Your Parsley Pesto with Pistachio is ready.

Other Salsas and Chutney you can try here are: Fresh Plum Spiced ChutneyArgentine Chimichurri SalsaCoconut ChutneyGuacamoleIndian Plum & Mint Dip Sweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneyPudina ChutneySpinach Coriander Salsa| Phalahari ChutneyCoriander Chutney without Onion GarlicRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and CorianderSzechuan Sauce 


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