Muhammara – Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Muhammara – Red Pepper and Walnut Dip – Best served warm, this is a sweet, earthy, hearty and creamy dip that everyone loves. It originated in Syria (Aleppo) but is served all over the Middle East and it is just divine.
Traditionally this dip is made with red peppers, oil, walnuts, breadcrumb, pomegranate molasses, aleppo pepper flakes, olive oil and cumin.
I have also seen it made with Sumac, Smoked Paprika and other spices. I have seen it made without breadcrumbs too and that is how I make it. Of course you can add it in and I have included that recipe below too. This is a recipe I learnt from a friend and I have been pretty much obsessed with it since I first tasted it. It works well served with pitta chips or alongside meats with all the other usual suspects like Baba Ghanoush (Don’t get me started.. drooling here) and Hummus.
By they way, I really dislike the idea that only a certain culture can make the food from their own culture and no one else is able to. I don’t agree with that at all. I have had some of the best food cooked by people who don’t belong to the culture that they have cooked from. I don’t know if that sentence made sense. It sounded great in my head.
In London there is a famous cafe that is so popular that it has queues of people standing outside..it serves Persian food cooked by someone who is not Persian. Why is it acceptable to believe that the likes of Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver can cook food from the world over but other people can’t? Hmmm…I’m only getting all ‘het up’ because I love cooking food from all over the world and I think I do a decent job of it too.
Anyway, shall we move on? The great thing about most dips is that they are pretty easy to make once you know how. It is usually a case of tossing everything into a food processor but in this case there is a little roasting and toasting to do first. Can I just say, this is so much more delicious then Hummus? You have to try it to know!
This recipe was supposed to go up in June last year but erm..I don’t know. I don’t even have an excuse.
Muhammara - Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Muhammara - Red Pepper and Walnut Dip - Best served warm, this is a sweet, earthy, hearty and creamy dip that everyone loves. It originated in Syria (Aleppo) but is served all over the Middle East and it is just divine.
- 2 Large Red Peppers
- 120 grams Walnuts
- 1 large Garlic Clove
- 2 tsp Red Pepper Paste
- 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- 1 tbsp Aleppo Chilli Flakes
- 1.5 tsp Cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat the grill and put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30-35 minutes. Turn occasionally until black all over OR Hold with tongs over a flame and keep rotating until the skin is charred all over. Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with cling-film and set aside.
Once cool enough to handle, peel and deseed. Discard the skin and seeds.
In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the walnuts for 4-5 minutes turning occasionally.
Add all the ingredients apart from the olive oil to a food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning if need be. Drizzle with olive oil.
If you cannot find Aleppo Chilli flakes, use an equal mix of cayenne pepper and sweet paprika instead.
The red pepper paste I use is Biber Salcasi. There is an option to buy mild or hot. The hot one is really really really really hot.
To make the version using breadcrumbs, add 3 tbsp breadcrumbs to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and reduce the walnuts to 50g.