Hot red pepper paste

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 3 long red peppers
  • 3 long red chillies, seeded
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (see note)
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp shredded mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, finely diced
  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
01   Preheat the oven to 200C. Roast the peppers and seeded chillies for 20 minutes on a foil-lined baking tray, turning once, until the skins blister and char. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
02   When cool enough to handle, peel the skins away from the peppers and pull away the seeds and membranes. Roughly chop the peppers and tip into a blender. Use a sharp knife to scrape the flesh of the chillies away from the skins – this is easier than trying to peel them. Add the chilli flesh to the blender with the remaining ingredients. Whiz to a fine purée, then taste and adjust the balance of salt and lemon if necessary. Chill, covered, until ready to eat. This dip will keep for up to 3 days.
Note Pomegranate molasses is available from The Essential Ingredient and Middle Eastern food stores.
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