Muhammara is a hot pepper dip indigenous to Aleppo, Syria. It is also found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. The base is a mixture of fresh or dried peppers, ground walnuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil. It is also often infused with garlic, salt, lemon, spices and pomegranate molasses. It is a deeply flavored and textured dip that will keep your hunger at bay with lunch or as a snack, or serve as a great side dish to dinner. This muhammara recipe is a fun take on the classic, using chia seeds to excite your palate and your health conscience even further.
Dip into this chia muhammara recipe with sliced and toasted whole-wheat or whole-grain pita bread. It also pairs quite well with vegetable crudités. The flavors of muhammara are quite strong and can thus easily stand out at the dinner table, so make sure you enjoy it as a preface to a meal with equal amounts of density and flavor, like a roasted chicken or beef dish. Otherwise, it is great on its own!
The chia seeds aren’t in the dip itself, but instead used as a lightly toasted seed garnish atop the dip. If you want to feature chia more prominently, add 1 tablespoon to the food processor along with the other ingredients before blending. Enjoy!
Chia Muhammara Recipe
- 3-4 slices whole-wheat stale bread
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons red pepper paste (find at a local ethnic food store)
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup shelled walnuts
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Dash of sea salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- Olive oil, red pepper flakes and pita bread for serving
In a food processor, add the onion, red pepper paste, tomato paste, walnuts, cumin, and salt. Pulse until finely ground. Soak the bread slices in water. Squeeze out the excess water and then crumble the bread atop the mixture in the food processor. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more olive oil or water.
Spread the mixture onto a serving plate. Lightly toast the chia seeds in a small saucepan before sprinkling over the muhammara.
For garnish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve aside sliced pita bread.
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Chia Seeds image from Shutterstock