Move over Hummus. Step aside Tahini. There is a new dip in town which is exquisite in its taste and breathtakingly flavorful. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still love Hummus, Tzatziki, baba ganoush and Tahini, but as soon as we hear Mediterranean, we instinctively think about the most common dips. But today I am presenting you one of the hidden gem of the middle eastern cuisine; the Muhammara dip, which is prepared from Bell pepper.
Muhammara is spicy pepper dip originated from Aleppo, Syria. The heat in the dip can be customized by the quantity and the heat level of the peppers. This is one of the iconic dishes of Middle-east.
My love for muhammara began a few years ago when we visited Turkey. Since then when ever I happen to hop into Turkish restaurant I look for this dish and I must say Indianapolis (#The Bosphorus Turkish Cuisine) restaurant has the best out of all that I tried. If anyone have a chance to visit Indianapolis or folks who live there, I strongly recommend to visit this place. One of the few best Turkish Restaurants I have visited while traveling.
I have tried this recipe quiet a few times with different variations but this one is the best and close to Turkey flavor. Like i tell in my posts , you don’t need to go to Turkey to have this flavorful dish! Make it yourself at home and enjoy with family and friends.
Let’s meet the ingredients.
Bell pepper is the main ingredient and I love adding Sumac as authentic spice but you can skip it if you don’t have it or add lemon zest /lemon pepper seasoning/lemon juice/ vinegar.
This can be a great dip for party as well as dip while watching NFL or NBA!
Use it as spread on bread, dip for chips or make a sandwich . Dip it with Falafel as well.
Try this out and let me know
- Grill or Bake the Bell pepper: Grill the bell peppers on gas flame until they are roasted or Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F , brush the bell peppers with olive oil, and place in oven tray. Roast the peppers in oven for 15-20 minutes , turning them over once or twice.
- Cover bell pepper: Remove from the oven/gas and place the peppers in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap for a few minutes to trap the steam from the roasted peppers which makes it easy to peel. Peel the peppers when its warm enough to handle, slice the peppers into small strips. ( You can choose to keep the seeds or remove it)
- Toast walnuts: Take 1/2 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Blend: In the processor, combine the roasted red pepper strips with olive oil, walnuts, tomato paste, bread crumbs, sugar, sumac, salt and cayenne. Blend into a smooth paste.
- Transfer: Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve: Serve with Pita Chips/ Bread/ falafel
- You can refrigerate muhammara in a tight-lid container for up to a week. A thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to cover the top of the dip will help preserve it.
- Sumac can be substituted by lemon zest /lemon pepper seasoning/lemon juice/ vinegar.
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