Try this muhammara recipe for a walnut and roasted red pepper dip instead of houmous! It's a healthy mix of nuts and red peppers along with lemon juice and spices. So so tasty and a great vegan recipe too!
I don't often talk about restaurants on this blog but about a month ago I had the most amazing starter of muhammara at the Lebanese restaurant, Mezzet in Easy Molesey. I think it was the first time I'd ever tried muhammara and I left the restaurant determined to recreate it at home. It was full of flavour and quite spicy. I loved it!
What is muhammara?
Muhammara is a spicy walnut and red pepper dip, originally from Syria made with walnuts and roasted red peppers and seasoned with aleppo pepper and spices.
Ingredient notes for Muhammara
Do check out the ingredients list in the recipe card further down the post but basically for this muhammara recipe you'll need:
- Roasted Red peppers - I just use a far of roasted red peppers as it makes this recipe so quick and easy to make. But, if you want you can of course roast and skin your own peppers before making it. Follow the instructions in this post about how to roast and skin red peppers.
- Walnuts - Use whole walnuts or walnut pieces. Sometimes I dry fry them in a a frying pan before blending them, just to bring out their flavour. If you don't have walnuts you can use pecans instead although that is not traditional.
- Breadcrumbs - You can use bought breadcrumbs or blitz a couple of slices of stale bread in the blender before making the recipe.
- Pomegranate molasses - This adds a lovely touch of sharp sweetness to the recipe.
- Spices - Cumin, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. I use aleppo pepper flakes as they're from Syria and so more traditional. You can use any spicy red pepper flakes as a substitute.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic or a garlic paste or puree.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I like to use a good quality olive oil for this recipe as it adds to the flavour. At the moment I'm using Gaea Greek Olive oil. If you want to try it use the code: GAEASPICE15% for a discount.
- Lemon juice - I use fresh lemon juice as I think it adds so much more flavour than but you can use a a bottle of lemon juice if you don't have fresh lemons.
- Seasoning - A little salt and black pepper
How do you make muhammara
Muhammara is really easy to make. Basically you just need to blitz everything in a blender. Make sure to taste it and then adjust the flavours. You might need more lemon or more aleppo pepper flakes.
If the mixture is too stiff then add a little more olive oil too.
What to eat with muhammara?
This simple muhammara is great with pitta breads and I also love it spread thickly onto warm wholemeal or sourdough toast. It makes a great breakfast or lunch just like that.
Like all dips, it's delicious with raw vegetable sticks too and with roasted vegetables.
These are some of my favourite things to do with it:
- Spread it onto celery sticks as a snack.
- Spread it onto a flatbread and then add kebabs and salad.
- Use it in a sandwich instead of butter or just as an extra filling.
- Eat it with grilled halloumi or other grilled meats.
- Serve a big dollop with a salad.
- Make it as part of a mezze spread along with hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki.
- Spread it on a pizza base.
Can you adapt this muhammara recipe?
Yes of course. I mentioned a few ways you could adapt it in the ingredients notes above. But of course, there are so many ways you could make this your own dish.
If you don't have walnuts then just experiment with using different kinds of nuts or seeds instead. It'll still be delicious.
If you love fresh herbs then add a few. A little parsley is delicious. You could also use a flavoured olive oil to increase the flavour.
Does muhammara taste of walnuts?
I love nuts and can happily gobble up all kinds of nuts but I know some people find them to be a little bitter.
If that's how you feel too then please don't be put off trying this red pepper and walnut dip. The walnut flavour is very mellow. Because of all the other flavours the walnuts just give the dip a lovely nuttiness but without the bitterness.
My husband doesn't like walnuts but he does like this muhammara recipe.
How long does muhammara keep for?
If you keep this muhammara in an airtight container in the fridge it will keep well for about 5 days. It's definitely even better the day after it is made and personally I've never managed to make it last more than 2 days!
It's very lemony and if you leave it overnight the flavours just get more intense. This makes it a great recipe to make a big batch of. You then have lunch sorted for the next few days.
Can you freeze muhammara?
Yes, definitely. If you make too much or if you just want to make a big batch of it for another time then it's definitely doable. You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months.
If you want to be able to take out individual sized portions then you can use an ice cube tray to freeze it in as well.
Defrost it overnight in the fridge.
Muhammara Walnut and Red Pepper Dip
- 200 g Red peppers from a jar or roasted and skins removed
- 200 g Walnuts
- 50 g Breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper Use chilli flakes if you don't have aleppo pepper
- ½ tsp Smoked paprika
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1-2 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lemon juiced
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Put the red peppers and walnuts into a food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz until well combined.
- Taste and if necessary add a little extra of some of the ingredients to taste.
If you like this muhammara, try one of my other dips!
These dips are so easy to make and are a great way to add some extra veggies to your diet!
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this muhammara. I love to get feedback from readers.