Muhammara with Roasted Cauliflower, Quinoa and Halloumi

Muhammara roasted cauliflower quinoa and halloumi

We have recently discovered this delicious dip from Aleppo, Syria and we need to share it with you all! Muhammara is quite similar to our Spanish Romesco Sauce: smoky, with an intense red pepper and nutty flavour and the perfect texture to serve it as a dip or sauce. Served as a sauce our Muhammara with Roasted Cauliflower, Quinoa and Halloumi is a five-star meal that will surprise your loved ones. This recipe is inspired by John Gregory Smith.

Muhammara with roasted cauliflower, quinoa and halloumi is the perfect choice when you have people over and want to make something a little bit fancier. It’s easy to make but it delivers delicious flavours and topped with some fresh mint and pomegranate, the presentation will be unique.

To make this recipe vegan, substitute the halloumi for this lovely Crispy Baked Tofu.

How to make Muhammara using simple ingredients

Muhammara dip is really easy to make at home needing just the right ingredients and a good blender or food processor.

Ingredients to make Muhammara

  • Red peppers. They are the main ingredient for the dip. We recommend you to get the long shaped Italian red peppers as they are sweeter and the taste is more intense. In order to make Muhammara the peppers will need to be roasted. If you want to make this dip faster, you can always use roasted jarred red peppers.
  • Walnuts. This is another similarity with the Spanish Romesco sauce, the nuts. For the romesco sauce we use almonds and hazelnuts and for the Muhammara dip, walnuts.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Use good quality olive oil as it will bring a delicious flavour into the dip.
  • Breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs will make the dip have the right consistency as the peppers contain a high amount of water. We use Quelitas, a local product but you can make your own breadcrumbs just using a food processor.
  • Aleppo pepper. These chili flakes are mild but still have a little bit of heat. The original recipe uses Aleppo peppers. You can find them online or substitute this ingredient for regular chilli flakes.
  • Smoked paprika. As we roast our pepper in the oven, we love adding some smoked paprika to bring out the smoky flavour in the dip. If you roast your peppers in the bbq, this ingredients may not be needed.
  • Garlic.
  • Lemon juice. Just a squeeze of lemon juice is needed to bring together the dip.
  • Maple syrup. To contrast the acidity of the red peppers, we add maple syrup. You can use honey, date syrup or as the original recipe calls for, pomegranate molasses.
  • Cumin.

Once you have all the ingredients, the challenging part is done. Now all you need to do is blend all the ingredients until you get a uniform consistency.

How to prepare the Cauliflower, Quinoa and Halloumi

Once the Muhammara dip is made, prepare the rest of the ingredients following these steps.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200Cº. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, coat with some olive oil and sweet paprika and bake it for about 30 minutes. When the cauliflower has been in the oven for 10 minutes, add raisins to the baking tray to bake them together with the cauliflower.
  2. Take the tray out of the oven and leave aside. To cook the quinoa, use 1:2 ratio, so double the amount of water for the quinoa you are going to cook and leave the pan uncovered while cooking it. When all the water has evaporated, your quinoa will be ready to go.
  3. Grill the halloumi on a skillet pan until golden.
  4. On the side of a plate, add the Muhammara sauce, then add the cooked quinoa on the centre of the plate topped with the roasted cauliflower and raisins. Finally, add the Halloumi on the top. Garnish with pomegranate and chopped mint and drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice.
Muhammara roasted cauliflower quinoa and halloumi

Muhammara with Roasted Cauliflower, Quinoa and Halloumi

Delicious vegetarian dish from Aleppo, Syria to impress your family and friends.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Muhammara, Muhammara Dip
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

Muhammara Dip

  • 2 Italian peppers
  • 35 g walnuts
  • 35 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Rest of the ingredients

  • 1/4 cauliflower head
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • Quinoa
  • 1 block halloumi
  • Chopped mint
  • Pommegranate
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Instructions

Muhammara Dip

  • Preheat the oven to 200Cº. Roast the Italian peppers for about 25 minutes or until the skin has blackened.
  • Take the peppers out, leave them to cool and remove the skin. Leave the oven on as it will be used for the cauliflower. Transfer into a food processor and add the walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, chilli flakes, smoked paprika, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup and cumin.
  • Blend all the ingredients until uniform and smooth consistency.

To prepare the rest of the ingredients

  • Cut the cauliflower into small florets, coat with some olive oil and sweet paprika and bake it for about 30 minutes. When the cauliflower has been in the oven for 10 minutes, add raisins to the baking tray to bake them together with the cauliflower for a further 15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and leave aside.
  • To cook the quinoa, use 1:2 ratio, so double the amount of water for the quinoa you are going to cook and leave the pan uncovered while cooking it. When all the water has evaporated, your quinoa will be ready to go.
  • Cut the halloumi into slices and grill on a skillet pan until golden.
  • On the side of a plate, add the Muhammara sauce, then add the cooked quinoa on the centre of the plate topped with the roasted cauliflower and raisins. Finally, add the Halloumi on the top. Garnish with pomegranate and chopped mint and drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice.

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