“Smooth like silk, and of buttery feel,
But without the calories, Oh! what a steal.
Slightly sweet, with a tang within,
A condiment for all, minus the sin.
Serve it on canapés, or for a lick at home,
Keep it in the fridge, for that midnight scone!”
Dressed in red, your new found friend,
Whip it up quick, before it becomes a trend.”
1 red pepper
¾ cup raw unsalted almonds (or you can use 1/2 cup store bought almond butter)
¾ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon dry mango powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon light olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse till the pieces are all broken up. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and continue to blend on a low speed. Keep scraping the sides of the blender and let it work as the almonds release natural oils and break down completely. It will start to resemble peanut butter in about 10-12 minutes . If it’s too dry, add a few teaspoons of water. Be patient, it takes some time. You can see some step-by-step pictures on the Natural Noshing blog.
Meanwhile, roast the red pepper on a direct flame, turning continuously, till it becomes soft on the inside and the skin begins to char. Remove and cool completely. Once cooled, strip off the skin and seeds, and chop it into small pieces. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a non stick pan. Add the red pepper along with the dry spices and roast for a few minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Once the almonds are creamy, add the roasted peppers in and continue to blend till you get a smooth consistency. A few almond bits are fine, but if you prefer not to have those, just add another teaspoon of oil and blend for a little longer. Once done, stir in the lemon juice and store in an airtight container.
A great vegan spread for breads, crackers, parathas or idlis!