Quick and Easy Recipes: Muhammara Dip
By Jenny Pham
Planning your next party, holiday dinner, or simply looking to whip up an appetizer for lunch? Spice things up with this sweet, salty, and smokey Syrian dip – Muhammara Dip! Found in various Middle Eastern countries, this red pepper walnut dip has a secret ingredient that leaves hummus in its shadows.
What’s this secret ingredient? Pomegranate molasses. This dark syrup is extracted from the sugar refining process, leading to a thick sweetener that is similar to agave or honey. For this recipe, you could either use store-bought pomegranate molasses or make your own! It’s actually quite simple. All it takes is reducing pomegranate juice with sugar and simmering it down until it becomes a syrup-like texture. The process takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on how much juice you are reducing.
With the earthy flavor from the toasted walnuts and bread crumbs, heat from Aleppo chili and cumin, and the sweetness from the pomegranate molasses, this dip has the flavors to satisfy everybody’s taste buds. It’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients together in a blender and serving it with your favorite pita bread, chips, or veggies.
- 2-3 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
- 3 large red bell peppers
- 3 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes or normal red chili flakes, plus more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of raw walnuts, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil (if avoiding oil, omit)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut off red pepper stems, cut each bell pepper in half, and remove the core and seeds. Lay each pepper half down onto a baking sheet and roast until blackened (about 20-25 minutes). Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together pomegranate molasses, bread crumbs, cumin, salt, chili flakes, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, and lemon juice until combined.
- Add in roasted red pepper and pulse until combined. Make sure not to blend as the dip should have a texture to it, not become a purée.
- Adjust flavor if needed. Add more salt if it is too bland, more chili flakes for more heat, lemon for more citrus, or pomegranate molasses for more sweetness.
- Scoop into a bowl and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
- To add more character to this dip, you can top it off with more crushed walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and olive oil and serve with your bread /crackers/ veggie of choice!