Dive into the flavors of the Middle East with this easy-to-make Muhammara recipe. This delicious red pepper and walnut dip is perfect for snacking or as a unique appetizer.
Middle Eastern cuisine is famous for its many tasty dips, such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and tzatziki. But one of my personal favorites has to be muhammara, or as many call it, muhammara dip. Perhaps less well-known but equally, if not more, delicious, this vibrant muhammara spread is perfect for snacking and can even star as an appetizer at your next dinner party. Despite its complex, layered flavors, a recipe for muhammara is surprisingly simple to make. With a handful of muhammara ingredients, a roasting technique that deepens the flavors, and a trusty food processor, you’re on your way to creating this creamy, roasted pepper dip. In this recipe, I’ve left the muhammara a little chunky for an added textural element, but feel free to process it longer for a smoother, more traditional finish.
What is Muhammara?
Originating from the diverse culinary landscape of the Middle East, Muhammara is a flavorful dip that holds a distinguished place in the broad collection of appetizers, known as mezze. In many restaurants, you’ll find it served alongside other popular Middle Eastern dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, and dolmas, typically accompanied by warm, freshly baked pita or muhammara bread.
Muhammara is celebrated for its unique blend of ingredients. At its heart, this dip combines the sweetness and tanginess of pomegranate molasses with the richness of walnuts, layered with the spiciness of pepper paste, resulting in a flavor that’s simultaneously complex and comforting.
In the traditional recipe, a pepper paste provides the base. However, in my take on this classic, I’ve introduced fresh bell peppers along with the pepper paste. This addition not only introduces a pleasing texture but also lends a brightness to the dip that enhances its overall flavor, making our Muhammara lighter and even more enjoyable.
How to Char Bell Peppers?
You can easily char bell peppers by putting them in the oven on high broil. Then adjust the shelf to be about 8 inches away from the broiler. Wash and dry the red peppers and rub some olive oil all over!
Lay the bell peppers on a tray and broil until charred on one side. After about 4 minutes, turn them around and char the other side. When done, take them out while hot and put them in a Ziplock bag. Close the bag and let them sweat for about 15 minutes. Wait until they are cool enough to handle. Then it should be easy to peel off the skin and discard it. Next, cut the pepper in half, remove any seeds, and slice them.
How to Make Breadcrumbs?
To make the breadcrumbs, I cut ½ the pita bread into small pieces. Then I put them in the oven until they become toasty. Once golden brown, process them in the food processor to make breadcrumbs. If it is too much work to make your breadcrumbs, you can also use plain breadcrumbs.
What to Serve with Muhammara?
After allowing your freshly made muhammara to cool and rest for about an hour, letting all the wonderful flavors meld together, it’s time to think about presentation and pairing. Muhammara makes an excellent appetizer, fitting in beautifully in a platter of varied dips. But it also shines as a standalone dish, offering a healthy and tasty option for dipping vegetables or pita chips. It’s wonderfully versatile, going just as well with grilled meats or roasted vegetables, adding a burst of flavor wherever it’s served.
Be sure to check the ‘Tips and Notes’ section below for substitutions and additional information to perfect your Muhammara dip
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Did you try making this Muhammara recipe? 1’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Share your experience in the comments section below and let us know your thoughts on this flavorful Middle Eastern dip