Recipe Corner: Walnut and Red Pepper Paste Spread (Mouhamara)*


This Walnut and Red Pepper Paste Spread (Mouhamara) is featured in Dikranouhi Kirazian’s essential Armenian Vegan cookbook published in 2013.  This definitive cookbook offers a world of new and rich vegan flavors, recipes and meals that will satisfy discriminating tastes and motivate readers to add their own culinary touches.  Discover over 200 vegan recipes for breakfast, soups, salads, main entrees, breads, desserts, and more—offered from the great tradition of meatless Armenian meals.  Included are favorites like Stuffed Grape Leaves, Rice and Bulgur Pilaf, Vegetable Medleys, Paklava, and Hearty Breads that come with carefully chosen ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Kirazian arrived in the United States in 1959, where she taught at Holy Cross Armenian Church in Union City, New Jersey.  Married in 1962, she and her husband George settled in San Diego, where they raised their three daughters. “My cookbook is a labor of love for my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and for future generations, so they will always remember their heritage.  Armenian food is one of the most unique and traditional cuisines in the world.  It is rich in flavor and uses cooking skills and techniques dating back thousands of years.  Armenian food is basically healthy, and many recipes are already vegan — these are simple, delicious recipes everyone can make and enjoy.”


2 cups walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup red pepper paste (found in Middle Eastern markets)

1/2 cup bread crumbs

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1/2 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh minced onions

2-3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2-3 tablespoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1-2 tablespoons pine nuts (for garnish)

1/4 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4-6.


Chop walnuts in a blender or food processor.  Add the bread crumbs, olive oil, minced onions, pomegranate molasses, red pepper paste, all spices, and the water, and blend to combine all ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in a serving dish and garnish with pine nuts.

Serve as an appetizer with fresh vegetables, toasted pita bread, flat bread, or lavosh.  Use as a spread in a sandwich or on lavosh with grilled vegetables, roasted peppers, and cheese. Or as a condiment (or topping) for kebabs, grilled meats, and fish.  Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

For this recipe, go to:

Armenian Vegan: A Pure Vegan Cookbook With 200+ Recipes Using No Animal Products by Dikranouhi Kirazian.  To order, go to:

*Muhammara (“reddened”), mouhamara or mhammara is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria, found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. In western Turkey, muhammara is referred to as acuka. The principal ingredients are usually fresh or dried peppers, usually Aleppo pepper, ground walnuts, breadcrumbs, and olive oil.  It may contain garlic, salt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and spices, and garnished with mint leaves.


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