Muhammara

Muhammara Recipe

Muhammara (or mouhamara) is something I love to turn people on to. It's a traditional red pepper spread originating from Syria made with a beguiling blend of red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and a handful of other ingredients - depending on the cook. I included a recipe for it years ago in Super Natural Cooking, and make it when something reminds me of how much I love it. Which is exactly why you're seeing it today. I was having dinner the other night at Aziza, here in San Francisco, and always order Mourad's beautiful spreads - one of which reminds me of muhammara (although I think he makes his with piquillo peppers and almonds, or perhaps whatever looks good at the moment). It's a perfect spread for late summer -- you can use red peppers from the market and grill them -- ideal alongside grilled flatbread or toasted pita. Make this the next time you're considering doing a hummus or labneh - or (even better) go for an assortment.

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A couple notes - this is quite a hearty, substantial dip - toasted walnuts round out the flavor of a beautiful red pepper base, and a rich splash of sweet pomegranate molasses lends a subtly sweet backnote to the red chile flakes. My version tends to be light on the cumin and red pepper compared to other recipes you might come across - it's a matter of personal preference, really. Correspondingly, you can easily make the spread thicker or thinner depending on how you plan to enjoy it.

Muhammara

Muhammara

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper 
flakes or 1 small red chile
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 to 3 roasted red peppers

1/2 to 1 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

to serve: torn basil

Using a hand blender or a conventional blender, puree the chile flakes, cumin, most of the walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, and red peppers to a smooth, even consistency. Mix in the warm water in increments to achieve an easily spreadable consistency similar to a thick yogurt. If you¹re going to use it for dipping, you might want to leave it a touch thicker. Stir in the salt and adjust the seasonings if needed. Serve topped with torn basil, the remaining walnuts, and a thick thread of olive oil.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Excellent, another use for pomegranate molasses! I have a bottle that has been taking me ages to work through and as a result I am instantly intrigued by any recipe that uses it.

    Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables
  • Oh man, I made muhammara last year for the first time and it was so delicious. I could have sworn I got the recipe from your blog, but not I'm not so sure. I'll definitely be trying this version though!

    Kerrie
  • I LOVE your muhammara. Amazing.

    jencloss
  • Wow, this looks great, potentially a contender against red pepper hummus for my favorite dip! Thanks for all the beautiful Middle Eastern recipes and reminders to get out my pomegranate molasses!

    amy
  • I am ashamed to say that I didn't know about Muhammara but am going to remedy that as soon as I get my hands on some red peppers!

    Anna
  • Is there a good substitute for pomegranate molasses? It's the only thing I don't have in the pantry.

    Jen
  • I have a steady stream of this thanks to the Syrian fast food joint down the street. But glad to have a recipe if/when I can't have it delivered to me in 5 minutes. Muhammara is amazing with a fried egg and some toasted pita!

    Sarah
  • i discovered muhammara around a year ago and i couldn't believe what i had missed up until then! i could eat this stuff with a spoon. i could take a bath in it. YUM!!!!

    molly yeh
  • This looks gorgeous! I'll have to try adding pomegranate to my muhammara.

    myriam
  • Perfect, I have a very prolific red pepper plant this year and I am tired of pickling things!

    patricia
  • This is probably the only recipe from your books that I haven't made yet. Thanks for the reminder! :)

    DessertForTwo
  • I always order this at our local Syrian restaurant. It's sooooo yummy and I could never figure out how to make it myself. Thanks for this!! You totally saved my butt (and made my mouth very happy)!

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
  • This looks amazing!

    Maja
  • I love muhammara, but for some reason I tend to forget it even exists. Thanks for the remainder Heidi!

    Mike
  • This sounds like a perfect way to knock people off their feet alongside home made bread! the flavor combo of pomegranate & chili is completely amazing! Will try…!

    sabine@mamangerie
  • This looks delicious! I love the garnish you've used here, it looks so delicious :) x

    Jules @ WolfItDown
  • This is beautiful. Also, I'm obsessed with Aziza - wish it wasn't such a trek to get there. Though maybe that's a good thing...it would be a cluster-*** anywhere else in the city :) Do you have a favorite dish?

    Mari
  • I don't know how I've never heard of this precious dip, with such wonderful flavors and ingredients. And yours look so lovely, as always.

    Meghan
  • That is a STUNNING muhammara!

    Sara
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