Syrian Muhammara Recipe
Muhammara is a delicious, lightly spicy dip that's originally from the Levant countries of Syria and Lebanon. The first time I had it at a Syrian restaurant I was smitten. It's just a glorious, all-purpose dip. You can serve it with pita or crudités or on top of roast chicken.
The name muhammara comes from the word for red in Arabic - "ahmar" - the invitingly deep red/orange color is a hallmark of the dish. Some variations of the recipe exist, but I'm sharing the traditional Aleppo style recipe. The only non-traditional aspect is that I'm using a food processor to combine the ingredients - it's often made with a mortar and pestle.
As I share this recipe, I'm cognizant that the Syria the world knew is largely unrecognizable now. Aleppo is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It was an amazing cultural center, an industrial center for the Middle East, and home to several UNESCO world heritage sites. I know you probably know about the war that's torn it apart but I think it's important to remember that it's still an ongoing conflict, and there's still more we can do.
I think one important way of celebrating and understanding a culture is appreciating its cuisine. Syria's is truly legendary. The Aleppo Cookbook would be a great place to start if you'd like to cook other Syrian recipes.
Back to the recipe, the only finicky part of making this is roasting the red peppers and removing the skin - it cuts down on any bitterness if you get rid of the skin (although if you're running short on time - it's not absolutely necessary). If you want to make it really easy for yourself, you can buy the red peppers pre-roasted and prepared.
The red peppers give this the bulk of the flavor, but the pomegranate molasses and the walnuts are what really take it over the top.
I hope you enjoy this Syrian muhammara recipe - it's one of my favorite dishes!
- 6 red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs