Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Muhammara Sauce

Muhammara with mint

Try making this delicious Middle Eastern dip that is a combination of roasted red peppers, walnuts and the all-essential ingredient, pomegranate molasses. I bought the molasses at the local fruit market which sells an array of gourmet foodstuff. If you can't find it, you can always make your own (recipe here) using pomegranate juice, lemon juice and sugar. It has a tart and acidic taste that lends a beautiful flavour to the dip.

I decided to make a batch of this sauce after having tried some Kataifi prawns with Muhammara sauce at Kazbah a few weeks ago. It has a slightly sweet, spicy and nutty flavour, and it tasted so good that I had to google it to see what it was made from. I found a few recipes and they looked quick and easy to prepare, with the exception of having to buy or make the pomegranate molasses. They are great as a dip with some pita chips, bread, crackers etc. I also made an mashed egg and muhammara sandwich, which was yum! And of course, I grilled some fresh prawns and served them with the sauce. You can also serve them with steak, chicken, vegetables and practically anything you can think of. Try it! Here's the recipe:

Muhammara Recipe
(adapted from Epicurious)

A 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained*
2/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine
2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper / chilli flakes
1/2 - 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

* Or take 1 large red pepper and grill it in the oven for 25 minutes until the skin is charred or blistered. Place in a ziploc bag to cool (about 20 minutes) before peeling. 


In a food processor blend together the peppers, the bread crumbs, the walnuts, the garlic, the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, the cumin, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add the oil gradually. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl and serve it at room temperature with pita bread, crackers, meats, etc.

Grilled prawns with Muhammara sauce