Food & Drink

Discover the Flavors of Syria with Imad Alarnab’s Muhammara Recipe

In the vast tapestry of Middle Eastern cuisine, Syrian dishes hold a special place, celebrated for their rich flavors and aromatic spices. Among these culinary treasures is Muhammara, a vibrant and delectable red pepper and walnut spread that captivates the taste buds with its bold combination of ingredients. Originating from Aleppo, Syria, Muhammara has gained popularity around the world thanks to its irresistible taste and versatility. Today, let’s delve into the art of crafting this exquisite dish with a recipe by renowned Syrian chef Imad Alarnab.

Imad Alarnab, a native of Damascus, is not only a chef but also an ambassador of Syrian cuisine. His passion for preserving the culinary heritage of his homeland has led him to share authentic recipes, allowing food enthusiasts to experience the true essence of Syrian cooking. Alarnab’s Muhammara recipe is a testament to his commitment to showcasing the flavors of Syria and spreading joy through food.

Muhammara: A Culinary Journey

Muhammara, pronounced as “moo-hum-mara,” derives its name from the Arabic word for “reddened.” This vibrant dip is traditionally made with roasted red peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and a blend of spices, resulting in a velvety texture and a harmonious balance of sweet, tangy, and nutty flavors. It’s a staple in Syrian and Levantine cuisine, often served as an appetizer or accompaniment to main dishes.

Imad Alarnab’s Muhammara Recipe


  • Three large red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (can be gluten-free)
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • Two tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
  • One tablespoon of lemon juice
  • One teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish


  1. Roast and Peel the Red Peppers: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the red bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred and blistered. Transfer the roasted peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, remove the seeds and stems, and roughly chop the peppers.
  2. Toast the Walnuts: While the peppers are roasting, spread the walnuts on another baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn. Once toasted, let them cool slightly.
  3. Prepare the Muhammara Mixture: In a food processor, combine the roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Blend until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or cayenne pepper according to your preference.
  4. Serve: Transfer the Muhammara to a serving bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds for a burst of color and freshness.
  5. Enjoy: Muhammara is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. Serve it as a dip with pita bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables. It also makes a delightful spread for sandwiches and wraps or as a topping for grilled meats or roasted vegetables.

The Art of Muhammara Making

Imad Alarnab’s Muhammara recipe encapsulates the essence of Syrian cuisine, combining simple ingredients to create a dish that’s bursting with flavor. The key to achieving the perfect Muhammara lies in the balance of its components – the sweetness of the roasted red peppers, the earthy richness of the walnuts, the tanginess of the pomegranate molasses, and the warmth of the spices.

In addition to its irresistible taste, Muhammara offers a myriad of health benefits. Red bell peppers are rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fiber. At the same time, walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, making this dip not only delicious but also nutritious.

Beyond its nutritional value, Muhammara holds cultural significance, serving as a symbol of hospitality and community in Syrian households. Sharing a platter of Muhammara with loved ones is a cherished tradition, fostering connection and camaraderie around the dining table.

Imad Alarnab’s Muhammara recipe invites us on a culinary journey to Syria, where every bite is a celebration of tradition, flavor, and hospitality. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer, dip or spread, Muhammara delights the senses and transports us to the bustling markets and vibrant kitchens of Aleppo.

As we savor each spoonful of this exquisite dish, let us not only relish its taste but also honor the culinary heritage it represents. Through recipes like Muhammara, we can bridge cultures, foster understanding, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry of flavors that unite us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *