Muhammara is a red pepper and walnut spread from the Middle East. (Not to be confused with muhammar, which is a rice dish from Bahrein!) It’s a dip that’s very easy and quick to make. It tastes especially great with some fresh pita bread.
Originally, muhammara is a dish from the Syrian city of Aleppo. Unfortunately, Aleppo is nowadays mainly known for the massive destruction it suffered in the Syrian civil war. In the past however, Aleppo was a rich city, known for both it’s culture and cuisine.
While muhammara is a Syrian dish, it’s popular all over the Middle East. Recently it has also started gaining popularity in the rest of the world. The fact that it’s both tasty and easy to make surely has something to do with that.
The type of hot peppers used in the recipe are called Aleppo (because, you know… it’s from Aleppo…) It’s a reasonably mild pepper scoring about 10,000 on the Scoville scale. You can sometimes find the dried version of this pepper in shops as Pul Biber or Haleb Biber. Hot paprika powder is a decent substitute as well. We happen to have Aleppo peppers in our vegetable garden. They’re pretty easy to grow, so if you want to try them fresh, you can always give that a try as well.
As I mentioned before, muhammara is easy and quick to make. Roasting the bell peppers is probably the biggest job when making this dish… which is why I skipped that and bought a jar of roasted red peppers. Just in case you’re not as lazy as me, there are instructions on how to roast your peppers provided in the recipe.
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