In the olden days, Muhammara used to be considered a spread for royalty and the wealthy upperclass because of the ingredients required to make it. Walnuts and red peppers still aren’t cheap, but have become more accessible. Today the amount of walnuts you add to your Muhammara has even become a pseudo status symbol.
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup kaak, finely ground
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, additional for garnish
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
- 3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 3 Tbsp spicy red pepper paste
- 1 tsp sugar, optional
- salt, to taste
Putting It All Together
- Fire-roast two of the peppers until the exterior is charred. Steam them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 5-7 minutes. Peel and discard the seeds.
- Pulse the *kaak in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside.
- Chop the remaining red pepper into large chunks, discard the seeds. Puree the fresh and roasted peppers in the food processor until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, spread the muhammara into a shallow dish, drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and garnish with toasted walnuts. Enjoy with warm pita bread!
Notes: You can find *kaak in most Mediterranean or Middle Eastern markets, but breadcrumbs are a suitable substitute. Adjust the red pepper paste and Aleppo pepper for spiciness.