If you ask me what’s my favorite appetizer on a mezze platter, I’d definitely say muhammara – roasted red pepper spread with walnuts!
Muhammara is a traditional Syrian dish which pleasantly combines sweet, sour and spicy with a slightly smoky flavor. Muhammara comes from ahmar which in Arabic means red. Hence, muhammara name underlines the red color of this delicious dip.
Roasted red pepper spread ingredients
In this paragraph you’ll find general information about necessary ingredients. Details about needed quantities and step-by-step preparation can be found in the recipe card at the end of the article.
The ingredients you need to prepare this spread are quite simple. One exception only: pomegranate molasses. Specific to Middle Eastern cuisine, it is practically a pomegranate reduction with an intense flavor. In case you don’t find it at the supermarket, you can easily prepare it at home using fresh pomegranate juice, a bit of lemon juice and some sugar (optional). You only need to simmer the juice over low heat until it has a syrupy consistency and reduced 4 times it’s volume. Alternatively, you can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic vinegar, but the result will be totally different.
Obviously, there can’t be a roasted red pepper spread without red pepper. I used long red peppers for this recipe, but red bell peppers work fine too.
Walnuts also play an important role as they give this spread both flavor and texture. I prefer roasting the walnuts for a few minutes before adding them to the food processor.
Red chili flakes are a key ingredient too. Traditionally, muhammara is made with Aleppo peppers known for their sweetness and slightly spicy taste. As Aleppo peppers can’t be found easily, I used regular red chili flakes. Though I forgot to add them for the photo above, I remembered just in time to add them to the food processor :).
Bread crumbs give structure to this spread so don’t skip it.
Beside all of the above, I’ve also used olive oil, fresh lemon juice and I spiced it up with cumin and sumac.
Other vegan spread & dip recipes you might like
- Smoked tofu spread
- Roasted beet and garlic hummus
- Moutabal – Middle Eastern eggplant dip
- Smooth homemade hummus
- Green lentil pate
If you like this roasted red pepper dip recipe, please rate it or leave a comment below. And, if you prepare muhammara using my recipe, you can share a photo and tag Choose Tasty either on Instagram (#choose_tasty) or on Facebook (#choosetasty). I’d love to see your creations.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread with Walnuts | Muhammara
- 5 roasted long red peppers or red bell peppers
- 120 g walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp red chili flakes or to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs
- ⅔ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp sumac
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- (Optional) Roast the walnuts for 3-4 minutes in a skillet over low heat;
- Add the walnuts to a food processor and process until crumbly; they don't have to be finely ground;
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process until mostly smooth.
- Read the above article in case you can’t find pomegranate molasses.
- Make sure the roasted peppers released as much liquid as possible before adding them to the food processor.
- If the spread is too thin, add more bread crumbs.