Muhammara – a Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

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Muhammara, pronounced as moo-hum-mara, is a rich flavoured dip made with walnuts and roasted red pepper. It has a beautiful earthy flavour with a hint of sweetness from the pomegranate molasses and a hit of heat from the paparika and the red chilli powder that go into it. The name actually comes from the red colour of the dip. Muhammara translates to ‘red/reddened’
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Muhammara, along with hummus and Baba Ghanoush, is essentially a part of the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Mezze platter. It is delicious as a sandwich spread too! And an excellent way to feed walnuts to the oh- so-fussy teenagers and kids 😀
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You need
A large red pepper/red capsicum, charred on an open flame (alternatively char it under a hot grill)
½ cup of walnuts, chopped coarse
1 small green chilli, chopped fine
A very small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses (can use 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice and ½ tsp sugar instead, but the molasses really add to the depth of the flavour)
2 Tbsp toasted bread crumbs (Toast the bread slices, cool and run them in the blender)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp paparika
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp salt (add more if needed)
1 Tbsp olive oil
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Char the red pepper over an open flame or grill till the peel has black spots.
Peel and cube.
Put all the ingredients into the mixer and blend into a paste. It should not be too fine. A somewhat grainy consistency is what we are looking at. Check and adjust salt or sweetness if needed.
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Serve with nachos, chips, pita fingers or falafels,decorated a sprig of parsley and a tomato or radish rose.
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Recipe adapted from Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen with minor changes. An excellent blog for Lebanese/ Middle Easter  delights.
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