This recipe is my take on muhammara, the Syrian red pepper dip. Nutty, zingy, spicy, and sweet, it's best enjoyed with warm pita and fresh veggies.
This recipe is my take on muhammara, the Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut dip. I love to make it in the summer, when peppers are abundant and a cool dip sounds like the perfect starting point for a meal or snack.
In case you’re not familiar with muhammara, here’s a little background: this punchy dip originated in Syria, and it’s now common throughout the Middle East. Its key ingredients are roasted red peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, chile flakes, and pomegranate molasses, which combine to make it thick, nutty, zingy, spicy, sour, and sweet. I still remember the first time I tried it at a restaurant – its bold flavor really wowed me. Now, I love making this version at home. I hope you do too!
Muhammara Recipe Ingredients
To make this muhammara recipe, you’ll need these basic ingredients:
- Roasted red peppers – Use jarred ones, or roast your own.
- Bread crumbs – They thicken the dip.
- Walnuts – They make it rich and nutty.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds more richness and helps the ingredients blend together.
- Garlic – For savory bite.
- Fresh lemon juice – It adds brightness.
- Ground cumin – For earthy, aromatic flavor.
You’ll also need two special ingredients: pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper flakes.
Pomegranate molasses is very concentrated pomegranate juice. It has a syrupy consistency and a bold tart/sweet flavor. I highly recommend seeking it out for this muhammara recipe, as it gives the dip the perfect balance of sweetness and tang. Look for it in a well-stocked grocery store, a Middle Eastern market, or online. If you can’t find it, you can sweeten the dip with maple syrup and add extra lemon juice. Find measurements in the recipe below.
Aleppo pepper flakes are named after the Syrian city of Aleppo. They have a bold red color, a medium heat level, and a sweet/salty finish. If you can’t find them, swap in half the amount of regular red pepper flakes.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Though muhammara is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, I like to use a food processor to simplify the process. Just add all the ingredients, and pulse until smooth. Season to taste and enjoy!
Muhammara Serving Suggestions
The simplest way to serve this muhammara is on its own as a dip. Scoop it up with warm pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or fresh veggies like cucumbers, carrots, or radishes. It’s also a wonderful addition to a mezze platter. Pair it with another tasty spread or two, fresh veggies and pita, and flavorful nibbles like olives, cheese, or roasted nuts. Set out the platter for guests to graze on at a gathering, or enjoy it as a casual, no-cook summer dinner.
Want more ways to use muhammara?
- Spread it on a sandwich with halloumi and grilled veggies.
- Dollop it onto a bowl with couscous, crispy chickpeas, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and mint.
- Spoon it over frittata slices for a burst of flavor.
How do you like to serve muhammara? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Spreads and Dips
If you love this muhammara recipe, try one of these tasty dips or spreads next:
- 3 roasted red bell peppers
- ½ cup bread crumbs, fresh or store-bought
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh mint, for garnish
- Pita bread, for serving
- In a food processor, place the red peppers, breadcrumbs, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, garlic, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper, cumin, and several grinds of pepper. Pulse until creamy and season to taste.
- Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with pita bread or follow one of the serving suggestions in the blog post above.