While I was still an apprentice at the Royal Palace, my mentor, Chef Eli, explained to me that this was one of Queen Nanali's (the current king's grandmother) favorite dishes. There is a bakery in the Birnin Azzaria Market that was run by two sisters, Kylee and Ayla. They baked the artisan loaves and lavash that Queen Nanali preferred. Chef Eli would place orders once a week with the sisters. She would serve the dip with slices of cucumber and carrots and loaves of fresh-baked lavash.
Swap option: If pomegranate syrup is unavailable, balsamic glaze is a good substitute.
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
Preheat the oven to 425 F.2.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the red bell peppers, garlic, crushed red pepper, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.3.
Place the coated red bell peppers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake until the skin of the peppers is lightly charred and bubbling, about 45 minutes.4.
Place all the contents back in the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes.5.
Peel the skin and seeds from the peppers.6.
In a food processor, combine the walnuts and lemon juice with the roasted peppers, garlic and excess oil from the pan. Process until smooth.7.
Pour into a serving dish and drizzle the pomegranate syrup on top. This dip can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Reprinted with permission from "Marvel’s Black Panther: The Official Wakanda Cookbook" by Nyanyika Banda. Insight Editions, 2022.