Hummus Is Out, Muhammara Is In: Try This Dip For Your Next Party
- Shireen Jamooji
Updated : December 18, 2022 11:12 IST
A great dip can elevate even the most boring chip, veggie stick or pita to something addictive. Muhammara is one of the many dips that appear on classic Middle Eastern mezze platters and it's an easy way to bring a new and exciting dish to any party.
If you’re a fan of hummus, but wary of straying into the wide world of mezze, then Muhammara is a great place to start. This classic Levantine dip is made with walnuts, molasses, bell peppers and an explosion of spices to give it the perfect Middle Eastern flavours. It originates in the Syrian city of Aleppo but has become a staple in many other regions of the Middle East and beyond.
It’s naturally vegan and very healthy being a rich source of energy and vitamins so can be spread on a slice of bread or enjoyed with vegetable sticks as a light snack. The key ingredient which gives Muhammara its signature taste is Aleppo pepper which has a slightly smoky finish and the mix of this heat with the sweet molasses ensures a complex bouquet of flavours.
Though the traditional recipe is very basic, people also add things like garlic, lemon, pomegranate, mont or breadcrumbs. You can experiment with some of your favourite flavours and see what works best for you.
- 4 red bell peppers
- 1 tsp red hot chilli pepper powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ coarse breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (alternatively, pomegranate juice)
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup walnuts
- Salt to taste
- Rub your bell peppers with a little oil and roast them on an open flame (a gas stove will work) until they’re charred on all sides.
- Take them off the heat, put them in a bag and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Deseed them and peel off the skins.
- Use ready-made breadcrumbs or make your own by toasting some bread and then blending it in a food processor.
- Then blend the walnuts to the same size and combine the two.
- Blend the peppers, chilli, lemon juice, garlic, salt, molasses and olive oil into a smooth paste.
- Stir the walnut and breadcrumbs through this sauce.
- Chill for a few hours before serving.