One of the great joys of travelling is to discover new cuisines and unique ingredients. On my trips to Dubai, I discovered Muhammara, this amazing vibrant red spicy dip amongst the hundreds of dishes on offer at one of the elaborate Friday Brunches that goes on for hours.
Muhammara – a vibrant Levantine dip
I found out that the dip was called Muhammara and is really popular in the Levant and Middle East. Muhammara is an arabic word that means Muhamma which is to brown something, in this case the browning of red bell peppers. Hammara means red which is the colour this dip. (Mine could have been redder if I added paprika and tomato paste).
It’s made with roasted red peppers, walnuts, Aleppo pepper and pomegranate molasses. It really simple to make. You can serve it as a dip or a sauce in other dishes like roast chicken or lamb. It’s also vegan friendly.
It tastes a bit spicy, tangy and a little bit sweet. The pomegranate molasses is a bit sweet and sour and adds a lovely balanced acidity to this dip.
What is Aleppo pepper?
Aleppo pepper or Pul Biber is not a chilli pepper but is from the capsicum family but very low on the Scoville heat scale. It is very mild but has a distinct aroma and lovely dark red flakes Most of commercially available Aleppo pepper is sourced from southern Turkey, on the border with Syria. Over there it is sometimes called Halabi pepper.
It is used in a lot of Turkish, Middle Eastern and some Mediterranean cuisines.
It’s not very mainstream so if you can’t find it in nearby shops, you can buy it on Amazon or use a substitute. In recipes that call for Aleppo pepper, you can substitute 3 parts paprika and 1 part cayenne pepper for a similar effect.
Pomegranate molasses is made from reduced pomegranate juice and if you don’t want to make your own, you can buy it at Middle Eastern grocery shops and some selected supermarkets.
[mv_create title=”Muhammara Red Pepper and Walnut Dip recipe” key=”12″ thumbnail=”https://www.eatcookexplore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Muhammara-Red-Pepper-Dip-4.jpg” type=”recipe”]This dip is a great one to be served as part of a meze of starters or as a snack like chips and salsa. You can serve them with oven warmed pita bread, crispy pita chips or even some vegetable crudites.