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Sauces and Condiments

Riha ezmê

Riha ezmê
Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

When you browse the menu at Nîroj Kurdish Cuisine in Agoura Hills, you’ll probably be tempted to order the cold mezze platter. It’s a colorful display of five dips served alongside a basket of warm homemade bread. “Two of the ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes | Makes about 1 quart
  • 6 to 8 bell peppers, assorted colors
  • Leaves from 1 bunch basil
  • Leaves from 1 bunch oregano
  • Leaves from ¼ bunch sage
  • Leaves from 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mild red pepper paste, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper paste, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup (about 1/4) chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
  • Salt, if desired

Step 1Roast the peppers: Place the peppers on a rack set over a gas stove-top burner at high heat. Roast, turning frequently, until the skin on all sides of each pepper is charred, about 5 minutes. (If you have an electric or ceramic stove-top, roast the peppers in the oven using the broiler setting until charred on all sides.) Wrap each pepper in plastic wrap and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel the skin (the skin should stick to the plastic wrap). Rub the plastic wrap against the skin to loosen and remove it. Do not rinse the peppers to remove the skin, as rinsing will remove flavor. Stem and seed each pepper.

Step 2Place the peppers, basil, oregano, sage and parsley in the bowl of a food processor, along with the pepper paste, garlic, onion, molasses and pepper. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavorings or seasoning if desired. This makes about 1 quart dip, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Luqman Barwari, owner and chef of Nîroj Kurdish Cuisine in Agoura Hills. Pepper paste, pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper are generally available at Middle Eastern markets and well-stocked supermarkets, as well as online.


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