How Do I Love Thee Muhammara?

By • August 27, 2010 10 Comments

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Author Notes: I first tasted this at a conference for food bloggers in London, and I was SOLD. To make it, roasted red peppers are blitzed with toast, then spiced with the usual Levant suspects: pomegranate molasses, cumin, and Aleppo pepper. Make a lot, you won't regret it! To blacken the peppers, I skewer them with fondue forks and use those as the handle to cook them on my stove. To peel them after the perfunctory bagging, I start from the bottom end and keep a small knife handy to help scrape off tough bits. Whatever you do, DO NOT RINSE THE PEPPERS, as that will strip them of their flavor. I use almonds in this recipe because I love almonds, but the version I had in London was made with a combo of walnuts and cashews. You can make it however you like!Kitchen Butterfly

Food52 Review: Red pepper lovers, gather round! This spread is a satisfying, hearty alternative to your everyday hummus. The blend of walnuts and fresh bread crumbs gives a toothy, welcome mouthfeel, and the rather significant dose of cayenne (I didn't have Aleppo on hand) had me reaching for this to spread on sandwiches, top veggie lunch bowls (#notsaddesklunch-approved), and liven up some Greek yogurt. With that said, if you have a low spice tolerance, I recommend reducing the amounts called for here.Lauren Ruben

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 2 slices whole grain bread, toasted
  • 80 grams raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry-roasted cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves of roasted or smoked garlic, smashed
  • 2 red bell peppers, blackened, skinned, with veins and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus extra to drizzle on top
  • 20 milliliters olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. To a food processor, add the dry ingredients (bread, walnuts, paprika, pepper, and cumin seeds), followed by the garlic and cooked red peppers.
  2. Blitz, stopping at regular intervals, until well combined. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the liquids, then blitz again until well combined. Taste. You can increase the sweetness by adding more molasses, or amp up the sourness with a touch more lemon juice. Salt to taste, and serve with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
  4. Use muhammara as a dip, a spread, or in place of pizza sauce. You can even add some stock and a touch of yogurt to make it into a spicy soup.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Appetizers|Condiments|Bread|Olive Oil

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Comments (10) Questions (0)


26 days ago Natalie

This sounds like a middle eastern version of romesco sauce. Yum!!


4 months ago lalf

There is a vast difference between the heat in a teaspoon of Aleppo red pepper versus one of cayenne pepper. A teaspoon of Aleppo, which, like the Turkish Urfa, offers more depth and complexity than many other ground red peppers, should work well here, while a teaspoon of cayenne pepper would likely obliterate the other lovely flavors in the dip. I prefer spices to be balanced and supportive in a recipe. That said, I like to experiment and will probably make this — with Aleppo! : )


12 months ago chris

I was just looking for something to do with the bountiful peppers in my garden, and came across this recipe. Sounds marvelous. For the person with the walnut allergy: my granddaughter's school has outlawed all nuts (tree and ground) and I use flax seeds to replace walnuts. They don't taste the same, but they provide the omega-3 fats. You could also go with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds, if you have a problem with all nuts.


about 1 year ago Patti Lohr

I'm allergic to walnuts...has anyone tried substituting other nuts? If so, which work best? Thanks!


over 2 years ago EmilyC

Lovely recipe for such a wonderful dip!


almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I never saw this recipe before, they sound great. I love the pomegranate dipping/drizzling sauce.


almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love this - I know I have read over it before but not done anything about it - time to change that! Muhamarra here I come!


over 4 years ago onetribegourmet

Gosh I love muhammara! Gorgeous recipe! :)


about 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

I had these at a lebanese restaurant and every one came back for more till it was ALL gone.


about 5 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I love muhammara too! That was one of my favorite things to eat when I worked in Lebanese restaurant, long long time ago