Have you ever tried muhammara? If not, you’re missing out. Whilst it’s not a regular feature on our meze table, when we do make it, we know we’re in for a treat.
Muhammara is one of those meze dishes that is to be savoured and relished. And the good news is, it’s also easy to make.
What Is Muhammara?
Muhammara is a red pepper and walnut dip which is enjoyed around the Levantine region. In Turkey, it’s common in the southeast of the country where many dishes are similar (if not the same) as those in countries such as Syria and Lebanon.
As we head west, towards the Aegean, there is a very similar dip to muhammara which is known as acuka. The terms may, in fact, be interchangeable but we’re sticking with muhammara as our ingredients more closely match the southeastern Turkish flavours.
If ‘red pepper and walnut dip’ doesn’t sound too exciting just yet, then let us convince you that once the rest of our ingredients are added, you’re in for a real treat.
A Dash Of Pomegranate Syrup
Roasted Red Peppers
We’re also going to be using fresh red capsicum peppers for our muhammara. This is one of the differences between our muhammara recipe and acuka which uses red pepper paste. For us, you just cannot beat the flavours of roasted sweet red peppers.
Once the peppers have cooled, you will be able to peel away the skin easily and scrape out the seeds. We chop them up finely by hand because we like our muhammara dip to be coarse. Some people blend the mixture to a smooth paste.
Next is the walnuts. Again, for our muhammara recipe, no blender. We place a towel over the walnuts so they don’t fly off the workspace and give them a few bashes with a rolling pin.
You will be left with a mix of fine crumbs and some bigger chunks. That’s just what we’re looking for. And now the nuts are mixed into your peppers.
Your breadcrumbs are what is going to bring all of your muhammara ingredients together to form a thick, coarse dip.
The All Important Added Extras
And then it’s time for all those added extras that make this muhammara recipe so special. We’ve already mentioned the pomegranate syrup.
Add to that some spices: cumin, paprika and chilli flakes. A good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of roughly chopped parsley. And then a final garnish of broken walnuts. Now we’re good to go!
Doesn’t this muhammara dip look so tempting? Even more tempting when you take bread fresh from the oven and place it on the table. A truly delicious tear and share experience!
Turkish Muhammara Recipe
Let’s take a look at the muhammara ingredients and method more closely.
- 4 red capsicum peppers
- 75 g walnuts
- 75 g breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic peeled & grated or crushed
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 lemon juiced
- salt to season
- parsley finely chopped, to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius and place your peppers on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for around 25-30 minutes until soft. Turn them after approx 15 minutes.
- When your peppers are soft, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, take your walnuts and smash them up or chop them by hand and place in a bowl.
- Now add your breadcrumbs to the walnuts and mix together.
- When your peppers have cooled, peel away the skin and remove the seeds.
- Finely chop your peppers and add to walnuts and breadcrumbs and mix.
- Now add your garlic, pomegranate syrup (nar ekşisi), olive oil, chilli flakes, cumin and paprika.
- Add a pinch of salt and give everything a good mix.
- When it's time to serve your muhammara, spread it over a plate and drizzle with fresh lemon juice before garnishing with parsley and broken walnuts.
- Serve with bread fresh from the oven.
- This muhammara recipe can be adapted to your own taste as you experiment with the flavours
- If you love nar ekşisi (pomegranate syrup), for example, drizzle more over the top of the muhammara when serving.
- If you like spicy food, add more chilli.
- We often add a glug more of olive oil depending on how absorbent the breadcrumbs are, just to loosen the mixture.
- Lots of muhammara recipes include lemon in the dip. We prefer to drizzle lemon juice over the top of each serving just for the freshness of flavour.
And that’s our simple and delicious muhammara recipe. So satisfying to tear of a piece of bread fresh from the oven and fill it with muhammara dip! A perfect combination.
As with our hummus recipe, we love our dip to have a coarse texture because you can really taste each flavour. A real mix of the sweet, the spicy and the sour. If you prefer, however, feel free to blend it to a smooth paste.
If you’re entertaining friends and impressing them with your Turkish recipes, your muhammara dip will no doubt be demolished in one sitting. It also makes a great addition to your Turkish breakfast table.
But, if you want to keep your muhammara in the fridge and enjoy it in separate indulgent servings, all to yourself, you can keep it in an airtight jar or container for around one week.