Turnovers with red pepper dip (Fatayer mhammara)

March 14, 2014  •  Category:


 A well-known kebab restaurant chain dropped-off at the door of every building in our neighborhood a new menu titled “Holy Season Fasting Menu”; it featured only vegetarian dishes suitable to those following Lent.

In the savory pastries section, turnovers (fatayer) were listed stuffed with muhammara or red pepper/walnut dip. I cheated a bit and stuffed half of them with a combo of muhammara (made the previous week) and shredded cheese (Akkawi, similar to mozzarella);  in Beirut, one can buy ready-made muhammara from good markets or delis; making a batch one day and freezing it is another option. A good muhammara will have plenty of walnuts, some red pepper paste and spices (cumin, garlic, pomegranate molasses). It keeps in the fridge for at least a week if made without fresh onions (my preference). 

dup mhammara Aleppo

This recipe uses tahini in the paste.


  • 2 cups walnuts, soaked in water for one hour then drained
  • a small onion, chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed in a mortar with salt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup tahini (optional)
  • 1/4 cup red pepper paste (can substitute 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped) or a can of red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) olive oil

1. Place the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and run the machine until a paste forms; taste and adjust seasoning. Keep in a closed container in the fridge until needed, or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

NOTE: If using red bell peppers, they can be broiled till charred, placed in a plastic bag and skinned, then seeded. They can also be used seeded and raw. 

Make a dough which could be a pizza dough or a Lebanese meat pie dough. Let the dough rise for a couple of hours or in the fridge covered overnight; roll out and cut into circles; place a teaspoon or more of muhammara and pinch the three corners shut; place in a greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or so in a preheated 350F oven. Serve when a bit cooled. 

dup mhammara fatayer


8 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    I’m bookmarking those recipes. Both the turnovers and the mhammara looks extremely delicious.



  2. Eman says:

    I’m currently on a paleo diet so my options are limited. And I totally forgot about Muhammara. It would make an excellent paleo meal (without dough of course). Thanks for the recipe, I will try it tomorrow morning 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    These savory little packages filled with red pepper dip must be delicious. You are so lucky to be able to buy it already made.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I love muhammara, but I’ve never heard of putting it in pastries. I will have to try these one for the Easter bake off I think.

  5. Kathy says:

    Joumana, These look amazing! I love fatayer! I make spinach and meat quite often! I am so excited to try these…perfect for lent!

  6. Hisham Assaad says:

    I guess I’ve been having bad muhammara. The last time I’ve had it, the taste of toasted bread or kaak was very strong and not enjoyable.
    We, at home, don’t make it. But I think I’ll give it a try.

  7. Oui, Chef says:

    Oohhh…these look SO good. I love muhammara!

  8. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Those are such fabulous pies – the molasses must add that perfect sweetness.

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