Muhammara Recipe (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

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Creamy, smoky, spicy-sweet and tangy, this Muhammara Recipe is simply to die for. This Middle Eastern inspired roasted red bell pepper dip is delightful with everything from french fries to raw veggies, pita bread to veggie burgers. Once you make it, I have a feeling you’ll want to put it on everything!!

muhammara (red pepper dip) in a white bowl with a red rim, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds.

About Muhammara

Traditionally speaking, muhammara (also spelled m’hammara or muhamara) is a slightly spicy roasted red pepper and walnut dip made with breadcrumbs and pomegranate molasses. The name actually translates to “reddened” in Arabic, which speaks to its gorgeous hue.

While the original dish can be traced back to Aleppo, this Syrian mainstay can be found all over the Middle East, all the way from Turkey to Israel. Muhammara tastes rather similar to Spanish romesco sauce, and can be found on just about any mezze platter.

Ever since I saw a recipe of muhammara on Natalie’s blog, I have been dreaming about making it. While I didn’t have all the ingredients that Natalie used – namely pomegranate molasses and walnuts – I was able to conjure up my own version of this tasty veg dip.

In my recipe, I swapped in honey for the missing pomegranate molasses and used roasted almonds in place of the traditional walnuts. Fun fact: romesco sauce uses almonds, so this recipe is like a Spanish/Middle Eastern fusion!

You can make your own pomegranate molasses if you ever want to! Just use pomegranate juice and a bit of sugar, then simmer it down until it is syrupy.

Since we have tastebuds that favor bold flavors, I also opted to make it more garlicky and spicier than Natalie’s recipe. The resulting dip was heavenly. You should do yourself a favor and make some right now!

It has the charred aroma of roasted peppers, a bright tanginess from lemon juice, and sweetness from the red bell pepper & honey; it is a pure flavor party for your mouth!

Serve this awesome dip with warm Pita or Naan, French Fries, raw veggies, Potato Wedges, Hara Bhara Kabab (or any kebab!), FalafelVeg Cutlet, or even spread on a Burger. As our American friends might say, “this sauce is BOSS.” I’m certain you’ll love it!

muhammara (smoky red pepper dip) in a white bowl with a red rim, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds.
Step-by-Step Guide

How To Make Muhammara

This simple muhammara recipe can be made in a snap! Here’s how it’s done:

1. I only had one large red bell pepper, which was the perfect amount for a small bowl of dip.

red bell pepper on a table.

2. Roast the pepper on an open flame (use your gas stovetop or a grill, or even the broiler in the oven.) This is the same process we use for roasting aubergines when making Baingan Bharta and even baba ganoush.

roasting a bell pepper over the flame of a gas range.

3. You have to completely char the pepper, getting the skin to turn black all over. Keep it in a bowl of water for 5 minutes, then remove the crispy burnt layer and discard it.

peeling off the charred exterior of the red pepper for making muhammara dip.

4. You should end up with a peeled soft cooked red pepper.

the red pepper is cooked through and the skin has been removed.

5. Remove the seeds and chop the bell pepper…

chopped roasted red bell pepper in a bowl for making muhammara dip.

6. And then blend it in a blender or process in a food processor with the following listed ingredients to a fine consistency:

  • 2 to 3 small-sized peeled garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup walnuts or roasted almonds
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pomegranate molasses or raw sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or cayenne or red chilli powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper as needed

Transfer the prepared muhammara from the blender in a serving bowl using a spatula or spoon. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some sesame seeds and chopped parsley or cilantro (coriander leaves).

That’s it! Easy, right? If you have all the ingredients, this dip can be made in a jiffy. Now enjoy!

muhammara dip in a bowl with a glass of fresh cut veggies in the background for dipping.

FAQs

Can I use jarred roasted red bell peppers?

You can, though I find the flavor in those peppers rather lacking. Per usual, it is generally best to make things from scratch.

How about green capsicums instead of red?

While you technically *can* make this dip using green bell peppers, the result will not taste the same. Capsicums are picked before they are completely ripe, which results in an earthy, vegetal taste. For the best results, I recommend using red, orange or yellow bell peppers.

Can I make this vegan?

Absolutely! Simply swap the honey for a plant based sweetener. Traditionally, pomegranate molasses is used. You can also substitute sugarcane molasses, date syrup, agave syrup, or cane sugar.

Can it be made ahead of time?

Yes. This muhammara dip will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.

More Dips and Spreads To Try!

Please be sure to rate this recipe in the recipe card below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

muhammara (roasted red pepper dip) in a white bowl with a red rim, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds.

Muhammara Recipe (Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

This Muhammara Recipe is creamy, smoky, spicy-sweet, tangy and delish. This Middle Eastern inspired roasted red bell pepper dip is delightful as a dip or a spread with many snacks.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, World
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper – large-sized
  • 2 to 3 garlic – small-sized
  • ¼ cup walnuts or roasted almonds
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pomegranate molasses or cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (cumin powder)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or cayenne or red chilli powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt as required
  • ground black pepper as required

For Garnish

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) or parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the bell pepper with water first a few times and then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Roast the bell pepper on a stove-top flame moving it with a pair of tongs till it becomes black and chars evenly all over.
  • Keep the roasted pepper it in a bowl of water for 5 minutes.
  • Later remove the charred peel with your fingers or with a paring knife.
  • Rinse the bell pepper again in water to remove any blackened peels stuck on the pepper. Finely chop the bell pepper.
  • Add the chopped roasted pepper, garlic, lemon juice, honey, ground spices, extra virgin oil, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend or process to a fine consistency.
  • Transfer the muhammara to a serving bowl. Garnish with a dash of olive oil, sesame seeds and chopped parsley or coriander leaves

Notes

  • The recipe can be scaled up but adjust the lemon juice, spices, seasonings as needed.
  • You can adjust the honey, lemon juice, paprika or cayenne or chili powder, as per your taste.
  • The garlic can also be roasted if you prefer.
  • Instead of roasting the bell pepper on stove-top you can also opt to roast them in the oven.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Muhammara Recipe (Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Dip)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 156mg4%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 1311IU26%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 55mg67%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 9µg9%
Calcium 30mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 30µg8%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 25mg6%
Phosphorus 54mg5%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Muhammara recipe from the archives first published in May 2012 has been republished and updated on 7 May 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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19 Comments

  1. Do you think I can try the same with green capsicum? I don’t think there would a big difference in taste…

    1. yes, you can make the same recipe with green capsicum. the taste will be different.

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