The unfortunate reality at the moment (and for the last few years) is that Syria is not generally associated with positive news or connotations. You hear ‘Syria’ and you think ‘Civil war,’ ‘airstrikes,’ ‘refugee crisis’ and ‘human rights violations’ (among other things). You Google Syria and what comes up straight away are news items of latest killings or articles around peace talks (I suppose this is positive if successful!). The bottom line is that up until this cook I did not know anything else about Syria. What I know now is that the capital city of Syria is Damascus. I know that they have a population of approximately 17 million people. I’ve seen that there are some beautiful sights in Syria – some incredible buildings and landscapes although I wonder how many people will actually get to see and appreciate these sights in real life one day? So much of the country is war torn and the ‘before and after’ pictures are saddening. The UN has described the Syrian Civil War as the “biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.” Almost half the Syrian population (9.5 million people) have been displaced since the start of this civil war, and 4 million of them live outside the country’s borders. I can’t help wondering about the innocent civilians and children – those who want nothing to do with this, but are stuck, and being turned away by the countries around them.
Anyway, enough with the ‘Debbie Downer’ speech…Something positive that I discovered last night was this Muhammara. Muhammara is a red pepper and walnuts dip. The recipe can be found here. (I’ve just 101 Cookbooks before for my pizza dough recipe which is great!). I love Mediterranean food and this was no exception. Roasting the peppers and removing their skins was relatively pain free, as was the rest of the process. My blender worked splendidly to blend all the ingredients. I had to use balsamic vinegar instead of pomegranate molasses, as I’m not sure where one finds that in South Africa. But it was super delicious. I dipped some of my recently made seed crackers in it which was lovely. I’ll definitely be making it again as it’s really easy, and I think quite healthy!