Muhammara (Moo-ha-ma-ra) comes from the Arabic word “reddened,” and is a sweet/spicy dip served on toast or with meat. I’ve read that it originated in either Syria or Lebanon, but at the risk of complicating things more, it really reminds me of my favorite Persian stew Khoresht Fesenjan (pomegranate walnut stew), which I’ll put up soon. Oh my god, how do I convince you HOW GOOD this really is? This is truly an incredible combination of flavors that dance all over your tongue with their sweet, spicy, tangy pazazz. This is a GREAT alternative to hummus, and, dare I say it, I think I like it even more. Although, I couldn’t really dip my way through an entire bowl like I could with hummus, but it was an incredible appetizer that would be amazing with meat in it. I didn’t have the “right” ingredients, so I adapted it from the authentic version just a little.

Where I found my inspiration

Serves: 3-6 (depending on how you serve it)

What you need:

4 pitas; cut into triangles

2 red bell peppers; roasted and chopped

1 slice of whole wheat bread; toasted and crumbled into pieces

1/2 c ground walnuts

1/2 c ground almonds

2 tblsp pomegranate syrup

2 tblsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

2 garlic cloves; minced

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste

How to do it:

First roast the peppers this way (with no seasonings) or place them on a burner and char until fully black (I was in a rush and mine weren’t really black enough).

Put the bread, nuts, cayenne and garlic into a food processor or blender and blend until fine. Add the chopped roasted peppers, pomegranate syrup and puree until a smooth consistency (smoother than mine looks, but I didn’t have the right equipment). Add the olive oil, lemon and salt & pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days.

This would be amazing with ground meat added to it. Mmmm. Seriously, this is fantastic.

For the pita chips:

Grab your pitas, cut them into triangles, place in a bowl and toss with 1-2 tblsp of olive oil. Toss some salt on them and place them in an oven for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

Serve and enjoy!

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