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Mezze Dining: Part 3—The Delicious Levantine Pepper Dip—Al Muhammar

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

Al Muhammar originates from Aleppo, Syria, and is a classic dish in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. The first time I tasted this delightful dip, I wanted to try and make it at home. Now it is often on my table. It is fresh and delicious, and the dash of coffee on top gives it a touch of magic.

I always use raw bell peppers because the first time I tasted this dip, it was made with raw bell peppers. However, one of my favorite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi, uses roasted peppers for the recipe and doesn’t add the dash of coffee. He also uses the mortar and pestle instead of the food processor. Try it both ways and decide for yourself.

Al Muhammara

3 red bell peppers

50g fresh breadcrumbs

½ tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1½ tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp dried chilli flakes

1 small clove of garlic

50 g walnuts


1 pinch of cane sugar

1 pinch of coffee powder

1 Tbs of Extra Virgin olive oil

Place raw peppers in the food processor. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chili, salt, walnut, and garlic. Blend until well combined.

Spoon the dip into a shallow bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. If you want to, garnish with a dash of coffee powder.

Serve at room temperature.

For more classic "Mezze" dishes, try:


Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup,Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), and Superfoods, Ippo is currently finishing her latest work, The Lords of Florence (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).

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