Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Spread): Eating Aleppo, Syria

by Karen on Friday, November 12, 2010

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Muhammara means “reddened” in Arabic and practically everything that goes into this healthy and easy spread is red.  I make mine with fresh roasted bell peppers, but you can take a short cut and use jarred roasted bell peppers (although it’s not quite the same).

– 3 red bell peppers (or substitute with a jar of roasted red bell peppers)
– 3/4 cup of walnuts
– 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
– 1 to 2 tbsps of Aleppo pepper, depending on how much heat you like (or substitute with red pepper flakes)
– 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses (you can find this in health food stores or at Middle Eastern markets, if you can’t find it, you can substitute with pomegranate juice which is more widely available)
– 1 garlic glove
– good quality extra virgin olive oil
– splash of warm water
– kosher or sea salt
– pomegranate seeds for garnish (find out how to deseed a pomegranate in seconds)

Cut the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds, stem and ribbing.  Toss in a little olive oil and salt and place on a baking sheet, cut side down.  Place it under a broiler (rack at the highest setting) and broil the bell peppers for about 15 minutes or until they are charchoal dark, wrinkly and your kitchen begins to smell like sweet roasted peppers!

Place them in a paper bag, close and let them cool inside until they’re cool enough to handle.  This steaming process helps to remove the skins.  Remove the skin from the flesh and cut into chunks.

In a food processor, process the garlic clove until minced.  Add the bell peppers, walnuts, pomegranate molasses, bread crumbs, a big glug of extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and a small splash of warm water and give it a whirl until it is nice and smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with pomegranate seeds, walnuts or a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper.  This dip will stay good for a few days in the refrigerator and tastes even better the next day.  Enjoy with some flat bread, crackers, pita– whatever!


Eliana November 12, 2010 at 11:44 am

My mouth is watering nonstop! I want to eat that! I love dips!!!!

Lisa~Korean American Mommy November 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I see you’ve stopped in Syria. You all are amazing. And your comment was so sweet. Thank you so much for the compliment. You have no idea how nerve wrecking it id to have a video out on the web. It definitely isn’t something I’d normally do . Thanks again!

Mary November 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

What a gorgeous dip. I’ll be trying this one for sure. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

Jeff November 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm

This looks really good and healthy– something even I can make

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) November 14, 2010 at 1:18 am

Delicious looking dip!

LimeCake November 14, 2010 at 2:36 am

The vibrancy of this dip is incredible. I’ve been looking for ways to use that bottle of Pomegranate Molasses in my cupboard. Thank you!

Laura November 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Wow, this looks and sounds like an amazing dish! I’m a big hummus person but sometimes the whole chickpeas and tahini flavor palate gets a bit tired… I just need to get my hands on some Pomegranate Molasses and then I am definitely trying this one! Thanks for sharing!

tasteofbeirut November 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm

i want to have some; cant resist it if it is in front of me! looks lovely with the pom seeds scattered on top.

Jennifer (Delicieux) November 15, 2010 at 1:52 am

Mmmm this looks so delicious. I love red peppers and I love the addition of walnuts (another favourite of mine).

Karen November 15, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for the lovely comments everyone and yes yes, please do make it– so easy!

What Happens After Five November 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Looks delicious!! Love your blog!

Angela November 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’ll be making this tomorrow night — along with homemade naan. Can’t wait! Beautiful post-

Karen November 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I’m sure it’ll be delicious with homemade naan– YUM!

Tanvi November 20, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Red bell peppers are one of my favs, So I gotta try this dip.I really like your pictures

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