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.
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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. Perhaps less well-known but equally, if not more, delicious, this vibrant dip is perfect for snacking, and can even star as an appetizer at your next dinner party. Despite its complex, layered flavors, muhammara is surprisingly simple to make. With a handful of 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 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.
Combine and Season: Add all the remaining ingredients to the large bowl with the bell peppers: the processed walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, diced shallot, pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, tahini sauce, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
Please Support The SiteHome Cooking is Easy!With These Minimalist Kitchen Essentials
|2 red peppers (charred, peeled, and cut into large strips)|
|1 cup walnut|
|¾ cup breadcrumbs|
|½ olive oil|
|1 small shallot (diced small)|
|2 tablespoons pepper paste|
|4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses|
|5 tablespoons tahini sauce|
|½ teaspoon coriander|
|1 teaspoon cumin|
|½ teaspoon black pepper|
|1 teaspoon salt|
|Extra olive oil and a few walnuts for garnishing|
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
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