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Muhammara

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Muhammara is a Middle Eastern vegan dip that's made with walnuts, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, olive oil and spices - easy to make in ONE simple step!

  • Author: Yumna Jawad
  • Posted:

Muhammara

Have you heard of muhammara? It’s the most delicious dip that you’re probably not eating already. I love adding this to my holiday spread along with hummus and guacamole to round out some fun colors for a snack board. This muhammara dip is all made in one easy step of throwing all the ingredients in a food processor. That’s pretty much it and you’re ready to go! It’s vegan, low-carb and insanely tasty!

What is muhammara?

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip that’s basically made with walnuts and roasted red peppers. In Lebanon this dip is very popular as part of our mezza menus and it’s often served with toasted pita or pita bread. I always grew up thinking it was a Lebanese recipe, but it actually originated in Aleppo, Syria. It’s very popular all over the Middle East though.

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In Arabic, the word is pronounced “mhamara.” We don’t actually pronounce the “u” in there and the “h” sound is actually a different sound in Arabic that sounds similar to h, but not quite. The word muhammara means “red” and it very adequately describes the vibrant color you’ll get from making the dip. And it just so happens to be a very festive color around the holidays. But, just like hummus, this dip is popular all year round and loved by many all around!

How do you make muhammara?

To make the dip, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Walnuts – you can buy them raw or roasted (or roast them yourself on a pan or in the oven)
  • Breadcrumbs – this is what thickens the dip. You can buy breadcrumbs or make them from stale bread
  • Jar of roasted red bell
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pomegranate molasses – the only exotic ingredient (but you can substitute with lemon juice & honey)
  • Garlic clove
  • Blend of spices like cumin and cayenne pepper (and aleppo pepper if you have it!)

Then you literally throw all those ingredients into a food processor all at once and blend it on high for 1-2 minutes. The muhammara recipe quickly and easily comes together in that one easy step!

Here are all the ingredients before and after blending. You’ll want a consistency that’s pretty smooth with all the ingredients equally blended. The amount of time in the food processor will depend on how strong your food processor is and how chunky you want it. It’s ready in a couple minutes though because none of the ingredient need much (if any) prep.

Tips for making muhammara

  • Toast the walnuts and breadcrumbs. If you have some extra time, I would highly recommend toasting the walnuts in a pan, and then toasting the breadcrumbs in that same pan separately. The toasted flavor of the walnuts and breadcrumbs really elevates the flavor of the dip. But it’s totally optional and the dip will still taste amazing regardless!
  • Try your best to use pomegranate molasses for this recipe. It’s at all Middle Eastern grocery stores, but even sold at Whole Foods and sometimes in the ethnic Mediterranean isle at major grocery stores. I use it to make fattoush and I even add it to my roasted chicken. It has a sweet and tart flavor that just gives a unique taste to the dish. If you can’t find it, you can try reducing some pomegranate juice in a pan. Or you can substitute with lemon juice (for the tartness) and honey (for the sweetness).
  • Let it chill before serving. This dip definitely gets better as it chills and the flavors meld. You can serve it immediately, but if you have time to chill it even for an hour and allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture, it gets even better.

What to serve with muhammara?

Well, it depends if you call it a muhammara dip, muhammara spread or muhammara sauce. It can really be any and all of the above.

  • The most popular way to eat it is as a dip. So you can serve it with pita chips, pita bread, or even pretzels and crackers, crudite or vegetables.
  • As a spread, it elevates any sandwich you’re having to new standards. Try it with these roasted cauliflower pita wraps, or a grilled mozzarella sandwich.
  • As a sauce, you can actually use it to marinade chicken, shrimp or fish or add it to a bowl of pasta, or even in a salad. It’s pretty versatile like hummus.

Insanely tasty spread that’s sweet, savory, smokey and spicy – yup, it all describes this muhammara recipe, and it all makes it so hard to stop eating it once you start!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Muhammara recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

For more Middle Eastern dip recipes, check out:

4.75 from 4 votes
Close up shot of muhammara with a spoon inside the dip
Muhammara
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern vegan dip that's made with walnuts, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, olive oil and spices - easy to make in ONE simple step!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizer, dips, Holidays, Lebanese, Mediterranean, party food, party platter, party spread, Snacks
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 177 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red bell drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided plus extra to finish
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pita bread or pita chips for serving
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast the walnuts until they are lightly toasted, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. (this step is optional)

  2. In the same skillet, toast the breadcrumbs over medium heat until they become golden, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. (this step is optional)

  3. Place all the ingredients in a high speed food processor and blend until all the ingredients are well incorporated and mixture is smooth.

  4. Transfer to a small serving bowl and chill before serving. Garnish with parsley, drizzle olive oil, and serve with pita chips, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Recipe: This recipe is categorized under Lebanese recipes, but it originated from Syria. Still, it's very popular in Lebanon, where my parents are from!

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 5-7 days in the fridge.

Make Ahead Tips: If you choose to toast the walnuts and the breadcrumbs (which is an optional step), you can do this up to 2 days in advance. 

Sourcing: You can find pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is.

I have never tried this with any other nuts except for walnuts because that's an integral part of the recipe. However if you have allergies you can try almonds or pecan. Let me know how it works!

If you can't find pomegranate molasses, it's best to substitute it with lemon juice. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to mimic the unique sweet and bitter flavor of pomegranate molasses. One other option is to make your own by reducing pomegranate syrup in a pan on medium-low heat until it looks like a balsamic glaze.

Equipment: I used the Kitchen Aid food processor to blend the dip. If you don't have a food processor, you can also use a blender. This may require more stopping and scraping though to ensure even blending without any chunks.  

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used. It is assumed to be for 8 servings, and does not include the pita chips.

Nutrition Facts
Muhammara
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Potassium 82mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 2.9%
Iron 5.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern vegan dip that's made with walnuts, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, olive oil and spices - easy to make in ONE simple step! | Middle Eastern Food | Mediterranean | Dips | Spreads | Holiday Appetizer #muhammara #mediterranean #appetizer #dips #spreads

Comments

  • Reply
    Fred
    December 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Super 👍

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