Muhammara is actually a middle eastern dip that is sweet, tangy and spicy. Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its dips - Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Tsatziki etc. This dip is said to have originated from Aleppo, Syria. It is mainly made with Red bell peppers, walnut, breadcrumbs , pomegranate molasses and Aleppo chilies. It also contains lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
It tastes great with pita bread, pita chips, veggies etc. I made some fresh Pita bread to go with this one.
Muhammara simply means" Reddened". The color comes from the red Bell Pepper and the chilies. Breadcrumbs is used to give it a good texture. I used two slices of toasted bread and pulsed it in a food processor. Pomegranate Molasses is a dark red syrup made from tart pomegranate juice which adds the right amount of sweetness and acidity to this dish. I did not see myself using pomegranate molasses again so made peace with honey and lemon juice. Instead of Aleppo chilies, I used the Indian variety of red chilies, called the Kashmiri chilies. This one along with cayenne pepper gave the right amount of kick in the dip!
Once done garnish it with chopped walnut, a drizzle of olive oil. Everyone has their own recipe, this is my take on this classic dip!
2 large red bell pepper
1 cup toasted walnut
lemon juice ,from half of a lemon
1 tbsp honey
2 slices of fresh bread toasted and made into crumbs
1/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp olive oil
8 Kashmiri chilies
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt as per taste
Preheat oven at 425F. Brush 1/2 tbsp olive oil all over the red pepper. Place it on a iron skillet or baking sheet. Bake it for about 30mins, flipping it once in between. Once done, remove and cool it down. Peel the skin and roughly chop the peppers. ( You can also place the peppers in a bag and close. The steam will help it to peel the peppers easily).
In a food processor, place all the ingredients starting with the peppers. Add in the walnuts, lemon juice, honey, breadcrumbs, red chilies, cayenne pepper, olive oil (reserve a tsp for garnishing) and salt. Blend slowly until all the ingredients along with the oil are completely incorporated. Check the taste and more salt or cayenne pepper as needed. Just before serving drizzle the remaining olive oil and garnish with walnuts. Serve it at room temperature or refrigerated with some Pita bread or chips. Enjoy!