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Friday, December 18, 2015

Mouttabal Al-Yaqteen (Pumpkin Tahini Dip)

As an intro to my Falafel Soiree, I wanted something that fit the theme, but that was new and refreshing.  This Syrian pumpkin dip is as old as time, but it was a discovery to me.  I had no idea pumpkin or squash was that popular anywhere else but in the Americas.  It is quite simple to put together once everything is prepped.. it really only takes a few minutes.  The longest part would be roasting the pumpkin and letting it cool.
Fortunately, I must have seen this discovery in my near future the day I brought home a nice plump Delica Moratti pumpkin and roasted it whole for my pumpkin pie urge of the moment.  Since one pumpkin yields quite a bit of flesh, I froze the roasted flesh pound by pound.. you know, just in case.  I was probably preparing for more pie urges.. or some sort of creamy chili, but bless my soul.. that was the perfect amount for this lovely Mouttabal Al-Yaqteen!
Recipe from Desert Candy
450g (1lb) roasted pumpkin flesh (mine was Delica Moratti)
1 large clove garlic, smashed
75g (3/8 cup) tahini
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch salt
handful fresh pomegranate seeds
drizzle pomegranate molasses
1.  Blend everything together until it has a smooth homogenous consistency.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
2.  Serve topped with fresh pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
I served mine for happy hour with some Luques olives and some turkish cheese stuffed chiles.
I also had some Man'Ouché bread for dipping.
The fresh tart beads of pomegranate are really what take this over the top.  The pumpkin is lightly sweet with the nutty creaminess of the tahini, making it a perfect dippable texture.. but those little beads of sweet juiciness that explode as you bite into them give so much dimension it seems they were made to be paired together.  The molasses evens out the flavors as well.
As long as you have roasted pumpkin handy.. Mouttabal should be on your mind...

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