Muhammara or roasted red pepper dip is a Middle Eastern dip with smoky, sweet and spicy taste. Super easy to make, delicious with crackers, pita or even veggies, this is a healthy one too.
Apart from serving with pita or crackers, you can also use this dip as sandwich spread, side dish for grilled vegetables. Vegan recipe.
These flavorful sauces and dips just make the snack time more exciting. Be it a simple platter of crudites or homemade crackers, a nice dip is always a good choice, don’t you think so.
I am big fan of this roasted bell pepper sauce and the other while I was making it, I was reminded of this muhammara dip. This spicy red pepper dip is a very delicious, flavorful and robust one.
If you love homemade dips and sauces, do try this recipe, you are going to love it!
What Is Muhammara?
The word muhammara in Arabic literally means “reddened”. It is named after both the color and spicy taste of this dip.
This dip was first made in Aleppo, a Syrian city but now popular all over the world.
This red pepper dip is spicy, has a slight nutty flavor and bitter taste from walnuts, hint of sweet from pomegranate molasses, spice from aleppo pepper along with perfectly roasted red peppers.
One look at the ingredients, can’t you tell it is a delicious dip. Apart from a dip or sauce with pita or a side in mezze platter, you can use this homemade muhammara in many ways. Keep reading.
It is a super easy recipe, most of the cooking is done in the oven so the hands on time is very less. A jar of muhammara in refrigerator comes very handy for untimely hunger pangs and they definitely perk up the snack you serve them with.
You should totally try this dip. It is
super easy and quick to make
flavorful and robust
myriad of flavors- spicy with subtle sweetness.
Let’s get to the breakdown of ingredients, tips and recipe, shall we?
This homemade muhammara recipe requires less than 10 ingredients and very versatile. I have included the possible alternatives for ingredients that may be difficult to source.
Red pepper– The star of this muhammara dip the red pepper or red bell peppers or capsicum. Red pepper and walnut is the base for this dip.
You need roasted red pepper for this recipe. I always roast them in oven as it is very easy and hands free method. You can also use store bought roasted peppers to make this dip instantly.
You can totally vary the proportion of red pepper and walnut in this recipe.
Walnut– You can use roasted or raw walnuts, but I prefered roasted. I usually roast a large batch and store in airtight container and use as required.
I add roasted walnuts in chutneys, crumbled them in salads, noodles etc. Healthy, flavorful and delicious.
Pomegranate molasses– This is an ingredient unique to this recipe. Pomegranate molasses adds a wonderful rich, deep flavor, subtle sweet taste and a vibrant color to this red capsicum walnut dip.
I made my own small batch pomegranate molasses for this, you can get it from stores too. Pomegranate arils will work in a pinch for this muhammara recipe.
Aleppo pepper flakes- Again these red pepper flakes are unique to this recipe. These are Syrian chilli pepper flakes from Aleppo and hence the name.
These pepper flakes are mildly spicy, has a fruity flavor like raisin and also very mildly sweet. If it is unavailable just use Kashmiri red chili flakes, but the flavor will differ.
While Aleppo red pepper flakes may not be commonly available in stores, you can get it online easily.
Bread crumbs– A small amount of bread crumbs will give your muhammara a rustic finish and that signature texture. You can also use panko crumbs or even garlic flavored croutons.
To make this muhammara gluten free, just use gluten free bread crumbs. All the other ingredients are gluten free.
Other ingredients– Garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, salt
How To Roast Red Pepper
Oven- preheat oven at 450 F/ 230 C. Grease a large baking sheet with oil. Rinse, wipe,halve the peppers , brush oil all over thand place them on the baking sheet.
Roast for 30-35 minutes or until they are charred to your preference. How long to roast is totally your preference. I prefer medium roasted so I roast for 20 -25 minutes only.
After roasting, remove from oven and let cool. The skin will easily peel off as it cools. Peel the skin and keep covered until use.
You can roast the pepper a day or two before and refrigerate.
Stovetop– Use a large cast iron skillet to roast the peppers. Spread 1 teaspoon oil on the skillet. Brush oil over the peppers and place them on the pan.
Cover and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping few times in between. Peel and use in recipe.
Can I Use Toasted Walnuts In This Recipe?
Yes, if you prefer to use toasted walnuts over raw ones you can totally do so. I have used both toasted and raw walnuts to make muhammara and I prefer toasted ones.
If you prefer to use toasted almonds, you can use an oven or cast iron skillet to do so.
How To Make Pomegranate Molasses.
Pomegranate molasses is reduced pomegranate juice with a dash of lemon juice and some sugar. It is easily available in stores but easier to make at home. All you need are fresh unsweetened pom juice.
For this recipe, I used 3/4 cup pom juice and reduced it to about 1/4 cup and used 2 tablespoons from it.
Combine 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-2o minutes until the mixture thickens and reduces. Let cool an use.
Muhammara dip tastes great with pita chips, any plain crackers or as a side dish in a mezze platter. Over the years I have also found many more uses to this dip.
- as sandwich spread
- Spread for pita bread
- with falafel
- spread over toasts
- dip for crudites
- with grilled or roasted vegetables
- with pasta
You can store this red pepper walnut dip for 2-3 days in refrigerator. Cover and store, bring to room temperature before serving.
Step By Step Method
Preheat oven at 450 F/ 230 C. Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil well.
Rinse and wipe off moisture from a large red bell pepper or capsicum. Apply olive oil liberally all over the pepper.
Place the baking tray in the oven and roast for 25-35 minutes or until the pepper chars well.
Let cool and then peel the skin off the pepper.
Now place pomegranate molasses, aleppo pepper, walnuts, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, ground cumin, bread crumbs and salt to taste in a food processor jar.
Run the food processor until everything is well blended.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with sesame seeds, more olive oil and bits of walnuts.
Serve with pita chips or pita bread.
I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy as much as we did. Do snap a pic and share on Instagram with hashtag #cookclickndevou and please give a star rating ★ in the recipe card below. Follow us on Pinterest , Instagram, Facebook for more recipes and ideas.
Muhammara -Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- Food processor
- 2 red peppers large
- 1/2 cup walnuts shelled, toasted or raw
- 2 tablespoons olive oil more for brushing over peppers
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoon aleppo pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- salt to taste
- toasted sesame seeds
- chopped walnuts
- olive oil
- pita chips
- pita bread
- Preheat oven at 450 F/ 230 C for 15 minutes . Grease a large baking tray with olive oil well.
- Rinse and wipe off extra moisture from a large red bell pepper or capsicum. Apply some olive oil liberally all over the pepper.
- Place the baking tray in the hot oven and roast for 25-35 minutes or until the pepper chars well.
- Let cool and peel the skin off the pepper.
- Now place pomegranate molasses, walnuts, aleppo pepper , minced garlic, olive oil, ground cumin, bread crumbs and salt to taste in a food processor jar.
- Process until everything is well blended.
- Transfer the muhammara to a serving bowl and garnish with sesame seeds, more olive oil and bits of walnuts.
- Serve with pita chips or pita bread.