Muhammara – Red Pepper and Walnut Paste

muhammara

I’ve always loved mezze dishes. Just like the tapas that I always used to eat in Spain, you get a little taste of each dish and you get to try lots of things at once. Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t like to choose between two dishes at a restaurant.
In walking distance from me, are all sorts of mezze cafes, some Turkish, some Greek, some Syrian and some Lebanese.

After making my version of Turkish Kisir, I wanted to try this typical Syrian dish of Muhammara, a paste of roasted red peppers and walnuts. Typically made with pomegranate molasses, it has a complex flavour with tangy, sweet and earthy notes that hit every part of your taste spectrum.  Simple to make, it’s a great addition to your mezze party – make sure you get some nice puffy pita bread.

 

Muhammara

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 2 large red peppers, about 600 grams
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, 50 grams
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 - 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp hot chili flakes
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F.

    Wash the peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds and membrane. Cut again in half.

    Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30 - 35 minutes, until cooked and skin blackened. 

  2. Once cooked, place the peppers in a bowl and tightly wrap cling film around the bowl. Set aside until peppers are cool enough to handle. 

  3. When the peppers have cooled down, remove the skin. 

  4. Add walnuts to a food processor and process until you get a coarse meal. Add in peppers and the other ingredients, except breadcrumbs and olive oil and process.

    Add in breadcrumbs for a thicker texture. 

  5. Transfer to a small plate and pour olive oil on top. Add some pomegranates seeds if you have and serve with other mezzes and warm pita bread!

muhammara

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