Turkish Muhammarra

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<ul><li><p>AboutRecipesEventsProjectsPressGalleryBlogContact</p><p>Tony is all about food. His ongoing food eventsand special projects have been featured in the press. To learn more, you can view hisgallery, read his blog, or simply contact him directly.</p><p>Home Muhammara, revisited</p><p>Blog Archive EntrySearch</p><p>ElsewhereTwitterFacebookFlickrYoutube</p><p>Recent EntriesCab rides through AleppoMloukhiyye at the digital dinner tableTheSyrian Hospitality WaltzSeasonal Pumpkin KibbehWorld Peace, a step in the right directionmemories of SyriaMoreEntries...</p><p>CategoriesvideosFrenchGreekItalianMiddle EasternNorth AfricanSpanishMoreCategories...</p><p>Monthly ArchivesAugust 2012November 2011</p><p>Page1 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>October 2011July 2011April 2011February 2011MoreArchives...</p><p>almonds amaretto avocado basil beef bread butter cheese chocolatedates dough egg eggplant eggs flour fruitsgarlic ginger goat cheesegroundbeefhazelnuts ice creamlemon juicelemon zestmeatmilk mint mushrooms oliveoilonionsorangeorangeblossom waterpaprikaparsleypasta pesto pinenutspistachios rice spreads sugar tomatoeswalnuts wine yogurt</p><p>Meta LinksPowered by WordPress</p><p> Mortadella, an Aleppan variationTant Jujus Chicken Noodle and Rice Soup </p><p>Muhammara, revisitedI don t know why or when it hit me, but the other day, as I was laying in bed after lunch, I realized I had been struck with a case ofhomesickness. My stomach was in knots and my thoughts floated home, across the Atlantic. We were told by the Fulbright committeeduring our pre-departure orientation that this is common; I wasn t worried. This period of longing, however gloomy, gave me time to clearmy thoughts and get other work done. I took a trip with friends to the outskirts of Aleppo and also worked on programming behind thescenes geeky stuff that secretly makes me happy.</p><p>sunset in the outskirts of Aleppo</p><p>As for my blog, I think it has also benefited from this period of thinking and rethinking. It has planted in me a new seed of enthusiasm andgreat ideas.</p><p>I consider my blog my baby. As of today, it is 3 years and 5 months old. It may sound strange to those who don t blog, but I feel my bloghas evolved over the years and has made me grow in ways I had never anticipated. My blog opened my eyes to web design and webdevelopment; it continuously fuels my immense passion for photography. My blog connects me to wonderful people and encourages me totry new foods and food techniques. It offers me a creative space to write and express my feelings in words, pictures, and videos. Andalthough I have on-and-off spells where I feel unmotivated to produce, this is something Ive realized is a part of life. I have learned togrow from thesebursts of inspiration and grapple with the moments when my mind wanders and my stomach is in knots.</p><p>One of the things that makes food blogging so appealing, I think, is the community it is built on. When I write a blog and post it on thistiny corner of the internet, I feel I am sharing stories and experiences with friends gathered around my dining room table. It s an amazingfeeling. It is real and intimate and funny and mushy and I love it. This is ametaphor that has stuck with me from early on, and one that haskept me focused on what my blog means to me. Thank you, always, for your encouragement.</p><p>Page2 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>Today, in celebration of rethinking, I want to share with you a recipe that Ive blogged about before: Muhammara, a rich and tangy MiddleEastern spread of red peppers and chopped walnuts. It sa spread that should never be missing from your refrigerator. My aunt cleans redpeppers and keeps them in a bag in her freezer for on-the-fly muhammara. Its a spread that you can put together in 5 minutes and tastesbetter if you prepare it the day before. The flavors meld and food magic happens. In Aleppomuhammara is commonly served as a sideplatter aspart of themezze spread, but I put in on almost everything. Sandwiches being my favorite so far. Just a light smear on the breaddoes the trick. Try it, and let me know.</p><p>In the olden days, muhammara used to be considered a spread for royalty and the wealthy upperclass because of the ingredients required tomake it. Walnuts and red peppers still aren t cheap, but have become more accessible. Today the amount of walnuts you add to yourmuhammara has even become a pseudo status symbol.Sincewere friends, and I know you won t laugh (OK, you could laugh a little bit), I ve also dug up this old video of me makingmuhammara for a Food Network audition. The video was filmed and produced by my very talented friend, Marilyn Rivchin, SeniorLecturer of Filmmaking at Cornell University. I didn t get the part, but this clip reminds me of how much I love cooking.</p><p>The ingredients for thismuhammara are mostly the same as the last recipe I posted, but my aunt taught me to add a dash of sugar to thespicy dip. Its not traditional, but it works. It rounds out the spiciness of the pepper paste and balances the tang of the pomegranatemolasses. I added it as an optional ingredient in the recipe.</p><p>mise en place</p><p>chopped walnuts + kaak ( )</p><p>Page3 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>clean peppers, inside and out</p><p>red pepper puree</p><p>Page4 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>pomegranate molasses</p><p>extravirgin olive oil</p><p>Page5 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>muhammara ( )</p><p>typical mezze spread</p><p>Muhammarayields approx 1 cup</p><p>Components3 red bell peppers1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped3/4 cup kaak, finely ground (3/4 cup breadcrumbs)1 Tbsp cumin, ground1/4 cup pomegranate molasses1/4 extra virgin olive oilsalt, to taste1 Tbsp spicy red pepper paste, optional1 tsp sugar, optional</p><p>Putting them all together1. Process the kaak in a food processor until finely ground and set aside.</p><p>Page6 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>2. Process the red bell peppers in the food processor until finely chopped.3. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.4. To serve, spread themuhammara into a shallow dish, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and garnish with toasted walnuts. Plate</p><p>alongside some pita bread and enjoy!</p><p>Notes: You can find kaak in most Mediterranean or Middle Eastern markets, but breadcrumbs serve as a suitable substitute. I recommenda tiny bit of red pepper paste for a kick, but feel free to adjust the quantity to your liking.</p><p>Print</p><p>In my early days of experimenting with muhammara in Aleppo, I came up with this simple snack that I now eat on a regular basis. It ssimple and incredibly delicious: a slice of Aleppan Mortadella, topped with a dollop of creamy hummus, and a kiss of spicy muhammaraseals the deal. Enjoy!</p><p>my favorite snack</p><p>Posted in appetizers, Fulbright, Middle Eastern, recipe, savory by Antonio Tahhan on February 8th, 2011. You can follow any responses tothis entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.</p><p>31 Responses toMuhammara, revisitedbahaafe Says:Man this is super Yummy</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 6:42 am</p><p>Mich Says:Woww I can t believeyou have been blogging for more than 13 years. I have been at it for only six months now, and I can t imaginebeing without my blog. It is an extension and a personal discovery. Also it s like everything you do, see, eat, experience is in relation tomy blog now. It s like sitting in a cafe and sharing with your readers.As for muhammara, we always used to have some in the fridge, made by an Armenian friend when I used to live in Beirut. She used tobring me some when I was living in London and when I go back to Beirut, it is always a must on the table.Great recipe and photos and easy to do. Thanks</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 6:49 am</p><p>Tweets that mention Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited -- Topsy.com Says:[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Antonio Tahhan, Bahaa FE. Bahaa FE said: Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara,revisited http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/ via @antoniotahhan [...]</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 7:20 am</p><p>HJ Says:</p><p>Page7 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>Hi Tony,</p><p>I envy you for being in Halab, I just love Syrian food and Halabi food has its own reputation for being great!</p><p>Muhammara is one of my favorite mezze but like many Middle Eastern dishes, theres always several versions. Personally, I like mine alittle on the sweet side and less on the spicy side. Does the pomegranate molasses gives it that sweetness?</p><p>Also, in many recipes Ive read, the red peppers are usually roasted but I noticed that you keep yours raw. No doubt its healthier but Iminterested in knowing why you kept it raw. Does roasting it lessen the strong flavor of peppers (something Id personally prefer).</p><p>Thank you!</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 7:38 am</p><p>Antonio Tahhan Says:Thanks, Bahaa!</p><p>Mich: No, no Ive only been blogging for 3 years I don t think I knew what a blog was 13 years ago hehe. Im curious, did yourArmenian friend have a different spin on Muhammara? As HJ mentioned, there are so many variations of this dish it would beinteresting to trace how Muhammara has evolved within different communities in the Middle East and across the Mediterranean.</p><p>Hi HJ, thanks for the comment! There are so many variations for this dish, its hard to keep track of them all. The pomegranate molassesdoes add sweetness, but it also introduces a bit of acidity, which is why my aunt adds that dash of sugar.Most of the Syrian and Lebanese versions of Muhammara Ive heard of are made with raw red peppers. Ive even eaten some that aremade with only ground dried red peppers (similar to paprika), but I didn t like the flavor or texture as much as the ones made with actualred bell peppers. Ive heard of, but never tried the roasted pepper variation if Im not mistaken, this is how they make it in Turkey. Youactually end up with amore pronounced, but also sweeter, pepper flavor by roasting the peppers since the roasting process concentrates theflavors and caramelizes some of the natural sugars in the peppers. On the other hand, you also lose the refreshing, raw flavor of thepeppers, which I personally enjoy. Plus, it adds an extra step to the recipe hehe. If you try the roasted version though, Id love to knowwhat you think about it</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 8:32 am</p><p>Samira Mangalo Says:When I lived in Halab, we added some garlic to our Muhamara</p><p>I am jealous, I wish I was there too Enjoy your trip.</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 7:10 pm</p><p>Margarita Says:Hi Tony,I loved your post, Muhammara is one of my favorites. My family traditionally has always used the jarred roasted red pepper and it swonderful. I will however try this version with the raw red peppers. Thanks so much for sharing, I hope you post again soon.xo</p><p>February 8th, 2011 at 7:52 pm</p><p>joey Says:This sounds delicious! Is there any substitute for pomegranate molasses?</p><p>February 9th, 2011 at 10:11 am</p><p>Flo Says:Thank you for this great post! My family and I are from Halab and we usually add lemon juice, and tahine (sesame paste) along with allthe other ingredients you mentioned. You should try it, its great!</p><p>February 11th, 2011 at 1:42 pm</p><p>samir Says:marhaba..your work and blog are much appreciated.I always thought that the red peppers had to be roasted and then skinned for thisexquisite spread?</p><p>Page8 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>February 14th, 2011 at 3:31 am</p><p>Zach Says:Sunset looks beautiful, Tony. I hope to visit Halab for the first time this summer.</p><p>February 15th, 2011 at 1:03 am</p><p>Nuha Says:I love muhammara! Itsprobably my favorite Syrian cuisine. I can t wait to try this recipe!</p><p>February 20th, 2011 at 7:53 pm</p><p>Yasmeen Says:hi tony!</p><p>first time commenting on your blog, but certainly not the first time i ve visited and fallen in love with the recipes. im Palestinian-American (now living in Australia), and constantly inspired by the flavors and aromas of our heritage. this muhammara looks delicious,and the hands in the photos look like my Tetas, as if she were making it.</p><p>i ve just started blogging as well, and though im only a month into it, i find it as invigorating, humbling and community-driven as youdescribe it to be.</p><p>thanks for the mid-east representation</p><p>February 22nd, 2011 at 6:10 am</p><p>Sara{OneTribeGourmet} Says:Congtralations Tony on your 3 1/2 years of Awesome blogging! Keep up the great work!</p><p>Love you recipe for Muhammara! Beautiful pics as well!</p><p>February 26th, 2011 at 11:43 am</p><p>Paula Says:I have been following your blog for a while now. It s fantastic-on every count. Presentation, charm, great writing voice and, of course,food! It s been lovely following your posts from Syria, too.</p><p>I ll be preparing muhammara tonight, following your instructions!</p><p>Love the video clip. Just goes to show one never knows about life. You got a Fulbright instead of a Food Network show (at least forknow!). Much better opportunity and a stepping stone to grander, spicier things.</p><p>Are you considering combining more formal academic studies (food history, sociology, what have you) with cooking somehow.</p><p>I look forward to keeping up with your work over the yearsthanks for sharing with us!</p><p>Paula</p><p>February 26th, 2011 at 8:40 pm</p><p>Kitchen Butterfly Says:I love themise en place photosand this is the first recipe Ive seen where the peppersare not blackened before blitzing! It lookswonderful</p><p>February 27th, 2011 at 3:00 pm</p><p>Kitchen Butterfly Says:BTW, the sunset photo is stunning!</p><p>February 27th, 2011 at 3:00 pm</p><p>Antonio Tahhan Says:</p><p>Page9 of 11Tony Tahhan Blog Archive Muhammara, revisited</p><p>8/7/2013http://www.antoniotahhan.com/2011/02/08/muhammara-revisited/</p></li><li><p>Hi Paula: thank you for the comment and compliments on my blog. I am considering formal training in anthropology, perhaps a masters,since my background is in math and economics. I took acourse called anthropology of food in college where I developed an academicinterest in the intersection of food and culture, particularly in the Mediterranean region. I would also like to incorporate blogs and otherforms of social media into my studies as theyve served as practical and dynamic platforms for cross-cultural dialogue to take place.</p><p>February 28th, 2011 at 3:38 am</p><p>Paula Says:Wishing you luck in all your endeavors-you won t need it though!</p><p>And you have built a global community eager to follow, learn and taste in years to come!</p><p>Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question.</p><p>Paula</p><p>March 1st, 2011 at 2:08 am</p><p>Alon Says:For the...</p></li></ul>