Muhammara recipe by Imad Alarnab

A traditional dip made for sharing

A large plate of Muhammara topped with pomegranate seeds
Muhammara is packed with peppers, chilli and herbs
(Image credit: Andy Sewell)

It’s best to use romano (long) peppers for this traditional dip, as the skins aren’t as tough as on bell peppers, said Imad Alarnab. But if bell peppers are all you have available, you can simply use the method below to remove the skins. Serves four to six.


  • 5 red romano (or bell) peppers
  • 2 red chillies
  • 75g walnuts
  • 4 tbsp red pepper paste (available from Middle Eastern stores and widely available online)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt

To serve:

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 6.
  • Place the peppers and chillies on a large baking tray in a single layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until the skin is blackened and charred on both sides.
  • If using bell peppers, immediately add them to a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool. You’ll then be able to pull off the tough charred skins.
  • If using romano peppers, allow them to cool slightly with the chillies and then pull off the stems from each pepper and chilli.
  • Spread the walnuts out on another baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Add the chillies, red pepper paste and spices to a food processor and blitz to a paste. Now add the roasted pepper, walnuts and salt, and pulse carefully until you have a rough, chunky consistency. You don’t want a smooth paste here.
  • To serve, spoon into a bowl or onto a plate and drizzle over the pomegranate molasses. Garnish with the chopped parsley and red onion, the pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Taken from “Imad’s Syrian Kitchen: A Love Letter From Damascus to London” by Imad Alarnab, published by HQ at £26. Photography by Andy Sewell. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £20.99 (incl. p&p), visit

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