Muhammara has its origins in Lebanon but you will find this in Syria, Turkish and other Levantine cuisines and it is eaten as a dip with bread, as a spread for toast, and as a sauce for kebabs, grilled meats, and fish.
The principal ingredients are usually fresh roasted peppers, grounded roasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, and olive oil. As condiment garlic or onion or shallots, salt, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. As spice I added cumin and paprika, but other spices as coriander, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, mustard and mint are other options.
If you don’t get the pomegranate molasses you can do it yourself bringing to boil ¼ cup of pomegranate juice with one teaspoon sugar and reduce it until thickened; alternative a mix of honey and lemon or honey and little balsamic vinegar.
Muhammara - Red Pepper and Walnut Spread
- 5 red peppers, best if you have the long shaped ones (alternative 2-3 red bell peppers
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 6 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 1 scallion, grated
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional if you cannot broil the pepper on the BBQ
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- If you have the possibility to broil the peppers on the BBQ or open fire, that’s the best method and the spread will turn super the best. If not preheat the oven to 250°C, then turn the grill on. Broil the peppers turning them every 2-4 minutes until the skin is well browned and the peppers soft.
- Remove the peppers form the oven and place them in bowl. Cover immediately and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime roast lightly the walnuts. Chop when cooled down enough to be handled.
- Remove skin, seed and stem of the peppers under current water. Drain and chop finely.
- Combine chopped red peppers with chopped walnuts as well as all the other listed ingredients. Some people process this with the food processor but I prefer to do it by hand keep the consistence as well as structure.
- Let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.