Muhammara is a finger licking tasty red pepper dip from Syria that is so healthy and easy to make. Packed with flavor and nutrients, this vegan recipe requires few ingredients. Use it as a dip, sandwich spread or to top flat breads.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the red bell peppers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for about 35 to 45 minutes.
Turn the sides of peppers at least once, and roast until they are soft, well cooked and the skin is charred.
Transfer the roasted bell peppers to a preparation bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Once cooled, peel the skin and remove the seeds.
Cut the roasted peppers into strips or pieces and place in a food processor. Add the bread crumbs, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes (if using, see note), cumin and grated garlic.
Use the pulse option on the food processor and process the ingredients into a slightly coarse but cohesive mixture.
Next, add finely chopped walnuts, Turkish red pepper paste (if using, see note), olive oil, about ⅓ tsp salt and pulse it again to combine well.Tip: Lightly toast the walnuts for flavor.
Adjust the amount of pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings to your taste.
Transfer the muhammara dip into a shallow serving bowl and use the back of a spoon to create some curvy patterns.
Drizzle some more olive oil. And garnish with chopped fresh mint or chives and some walnut halves. Store it in refrigerator for about 5 days.
Use bright red and firm peppers. You can also skip the step of removing the skin except for the charred areas.
Stirring very finely chopped walnuts in the end will give you a slightly coarse texture. You may also make it as a smooth dip if you prefer.
Using only the pulse action in a food processor helps retain a slightly coarse texture.
Adding some ready made Turkish red pepper paste gives a nice deep flavor, texture and color to muhammara. It is available as hot or mild paste. If using the paste, adjust or skip the red pepper flakes or it may become too spicy hot.
Ready made roasted red peppers may be used to substitute fresh peppers.
Pomegranate Molasses: you can easily find this at middle eastern stores, whole foods and international sections of several grocery stores. You can alternatively concentrate pomegranate juice by evaporating.
Vegan: Use vegan bread crumbs
Gluten Free: Use gluten-free bread crumbs
Nut Free: Replace walnuts with sunflower, pumpkin or hemp seeds.