An immensely flavorful dip that goes with vegetables, crackers, and bread.
Muhammara is a flavorful dip, “associated with the cuisine of Allepo,” it’s “made with walnuts and concentrated pomegranate juice, [and] seasoned with hot pepper and cumin” (encyclopedia). I made this dip for my family’s Christmas celebrations, sans the hot peppers, and it was a huge hit! The roasted red pepper gives it a deep flavor with a hint of sweetness from the pom molasses. While both lemon and garlic give it some brightness and zing! (am I on food network yet?) After trying it, I knew immediately it would be a staple for me in a lot of different dishes. If you have a food processor definitely pull it out for this dipping sauce.
The hardest part of this recipe is the pomegranate molasses, I think people are unwilling to make or try it as I was for a long time. I didn’t think it could enhance a recipe as much as it does and I was always looking into good substitutions (there aren’t any trust me). It is incredibly unique and well worth the time it takes to cook down the juice into syrupy goodness. Not only that, but scientists have used it in tests to detect intestinal parasites! They found that mixing their samples with pomegranate molasses proved to highlight the parasites they were looking for, “the background quality of smears prepared by the pomegranate molasses from the sediment of the centrifuged tube was clean and yellow in almost all instances, allowing relatively easy identification of organisms, whereas smears prepared from specimens concentrated with Formalin:Ether method had a dirty background” (Faraj 86). In this study the researchers were the first to attempt this method. It is not well tested yet, but it’s exciting that more research will come. And with that hopefully clearer science and less sick people! This all goes without speaking on the benefits that consuming pomegranate fruit and pomegranate juice have on human health!! My platter includes raw peppers, pretzels and mini loaves of Molasses Quick Bread from the Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook. Make my muhammara dip today :)
2 cups pomegranate juice
½ Tbsp brown sugar
½ Tbsp lemon juice
(this makes ½ cup pom molasses and the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp)
2 red bell peppers
1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil +
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp cumin
Salt to taste
½ cup breadcrumbs
1. Combine pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook down for about an hour. You are looking for ½ cup at the end and it won’t be nearly as thick as real molasses, just a pomegranate syrup essentially! Store in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the peppers into quarters and remove the ribs and seeds.
3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the peppers skin side up. Brush them with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.
4. While cooling, place the remaining ingredients into food processor. Once cooled add them to the food processor and mix until dip forms. Serve with a platter of veggies and crackers!
Muhammara.", "Food: “Food: Muhammara.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed, Encyclopedia.com, 2019, www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/food- muhammara.
Faraj, A.M., and Q.M.K. Koyee. “A coprological Diagnostic Comparison Between Zinc Sulphate Floatation and Formalin: Ether Sedimentation with Two Natural Extracts (Pomegranate Molasses and Honey).” Diyala Journal of Medicine, vol. 1, no. 2, 2011, pp. 83-89.
Author: Lucy Lafranchise
Photographer: Jack Klipfel