Muhammara – Roasted red pepper dip for perfect mezze

Cooking Method ,
Cuisine
Difficulty Intermediate
Time
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 45 min Total Time: 1 hr
Servings 5
Description

A savory and aromatic vegetarian spread/dip from the Mediterranean and North African region. Made with roasted red peppers, spices, walnuts, aromatic herbs, and a topping of pomegranate molasses, this dip has a perfect balance of taste, texture, and freshness. A great dish for parties and large groups, that can be prepared well in advance. All the veggies and nuts make this dish fiber-rich and healthy.

Ingredients
  • 2 Red Bell pepper
  • 1 Large White or red onion
  • 5 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Basil Leaves (Substitute fresh basil leaves - 15)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dreid parsley (substitute 2 TBSP of fresh parsley leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (Lightly roasted)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate molasses (Refer to below section to make pomegranate molasses from scratch)
  • Basic Pomegranate Molasses ( To make from scratch)
  • 2 cups Pomegranate juice (I used 100% pomegranate juice)
  • 1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Basic Pomegranate Molasses ( If you are not using store bought readymade one)
    •  In a medium saucepan, combine the Pomegranate Juice, lemon juice, and brown sugar.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally until syrup has reduced by two-thirds, to about 3/4th  cup, about 45 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and let cool, then transfer to a lidded jar.
    • Molasses can be stored in the fridge for up to two months.
  2. Roast the veggies in an oven
    • Cut the red bell peppers into pieces so that they can be laid flat on the baking sheet - Remove all seeds
    • Cut the tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Lay them flat with the curved surface facing up.
    • Cut onion lengthwise into 5-6 parts
    • Halve the garlic cloves
    • Lay all vegetables flat on the baking sheet so that they don't overlap
    • Spread olive oil ( about half of the quantity in the ingredient list) uniformly so that the entire surface area of the veggies is covered
    • Bake in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes (or until the skin of the vegetables start to turn dark)
    • Take the baking tray out of the oven and reverse the vegetables
    • Keep the tray back in the oven for another 10 minutes
    • Remove the tray from the oven and let the vegetables cool
    • When the vegetables have cooled, remove the skin from red bell peppers and tomatoes
  3. Grind all ingredients
    • Add all the roasted vegetables, spices and herbs (except Cilantro), some olive oil (¼ th quantity in the ingredient list), salt, and half of the pomegranate molasses to the food processor bowl
    • Add ¼ quantity of the walnuts. 
    • Pulse the food processor with the lid closed a few times
    • The mixture should be of uniform texture and all the ingredients must blend well. 
    • BE CAREFUL to not make this into a puree. We want the Muhammara to be coarse and thick. 
    • Transfer the blended mixture to a serving bowl
  4. To serve
    • Drizzle some olive oil on the Muhammara 
    • Sprinkle some chopped walnuts and cilantro 
    • Using a squeeze bottle or a spoon, slowly drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top
    • Enjoy the Muhammara with a side of freshly baked pita bread or naans or vegetables
Notes
  • You can refrigerate Muhammara in an airtight bottle or container for 2-3 weeks
  • The pomegranate molasses can be refrigerated for a couple of months weeks.
  • You can use pomegranate molasses for many other types of food preparation as a salad dressing or sandwich spread 
Keywords: Mezze, muhammara, mediterranean, spreads, dips, syrian, mhammara, Turkey, pomegranate, molasses,
Vinay Mummigatti

I love traveling, cooking, and reading. This blog is a reflection of my passion for cooking. Food is a representation of culture and I have tried to assimilate foods from different cultures across the world. I am an Indian by birth who moved to the USA 20 years back. I hope my recipes and articles bring new experiences and joy to the readers. Please share your comments and feedback.