Unforgettably flavorful, yet super easy to make – that’s Muhammara in 7 words. It is a fantastic dish to make new and old friends feel at home, without having to be an experienced chef. Today I will teach you how you can make this versatile Syrian dip.
A bit of backstory: When I was a child, we often would not have a hot meal for dinner. Not for monetary reasons, and not because my mum didn’t know how to put something nice on the table – she is actually a fantastic cook. It is just that in Bavaria, we really love our Brotzeit (literally bread time): Fresh bread or pretzels, sausages, hard cheese, Obatzda, Pickles, etc.
So, I have been culturally trained to love eating with my hands and dipping some baked goods in something savory and creamy. When I first came across Hummus, it was a revelation. But I recently discovered a dip that is even easier to prepare for inexperienced cooks – and so flavorful that however much I make, the plan of saving some for tomorrow almost always fails.
Sharing a bowl of Muhammara is so unpretentious, yet so intimate.
It’s a really nice dish to develop a deeper level of friendship over.
- 3 red bell peppers
- 120 g walnuts
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons of balsamico vinegar or, even better, date vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon (smoked) paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt & a pinch of pepper
Served with bread, cheese, olives, and salami, this is technically enough for 4 people. I say technically because Muhammara makes it quite difficult to actually stop eating when you are full.
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F
- Wash the bell peppers, cut them into strips and put them into a baking dish. Generously salt the strips, pour the olive oil over them, mix everything and then spread it evenly.
- Put the bell peppers in the oven for 20-30 minutes, take them out before they get to dark and let them cool a bit.
- In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a non-stick pan for a few minutes. This reduces bitterness and makes them even more flavorful (more info).
- Put the bell peppers, a few spoons of the salty olive oil from the baking dish, the nuts and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend for a few seconds.
- Try the Muhammara. It will probably need some more salt; depending on how sweet your peppers are one teaspoon of brown sugar can also help bring out even more flavor.
- Serve with pita, naan or baguette while still hot.
I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as all the friends I have ever made it for. So go ahead: share these awesome flavors with your loved ones.
PS: Just like Muhammara, my blog gets better when you share it. So do me a favor and give those social buttons right below this some love!