We visited Istanbul in November 2015 and bought a lot of Mediterranean spices, different varieties of tea and dried fruits from the fabled Istanbul Spice Bazar. Sumac and Aleppo Pepper were 2 real special gems we bought and I made a recipe using them for the first time in the weekend!
What is Sumac?
The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries, which are dried and ground into coarse powder. Ground sumac is a versatile spice with a tangy lemony flavor, although more balanced and less tart than lemon juice. A small sprinkle also adds a beautiful color to any dish. Sumac is one of the main components in the spice mix za’atar, and is used as a topping on fattoush salad. The spice was long used in Europe to add tartness to many dishes until the Romans introduced lemons to the area.
What is Aleppo Pepper?
Aleppo chili pepper comes to us from southern Turkey, near the Syrian town of Aleppo, which is considered one of the culinary meccas of the Mediterranean. It has a moderate heat level with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones, with a hint of a vinegar, salty taste. Aleppo chili offers a nice variation from your usual crushed red peppers. It has a very robust flavor that hits you in the back of your mouth, tickles your throat and dissipates quickly. I am surely going to try this in place of regular crushed red chilies on salads, and pasta.
The dish came out absolutely lip-smacking delicious, perfectly grilled and brilliantly spiced! Do give it a shot folks if you can get hold of these 2 spices…
700 grams chicken (pieces of your choice)
For the Marinade:
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 tbsp Sumac Powder (powdered spice made from deep red berries with a tangy lemony flavor)
1 tbsp Aleppo Pepper (moderate heat level with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones, with a hint of a vinegar and a salty taste)
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
Salt as per Taste
For the Dressing:
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1. Mix all the “For the Marinade” ingredients in a bowl, rub this mix over the chicken pieces thoroughly, cling wrap the bowl and marinate for 60-90 minutes.
2. Combine the Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, keep it aside.
3. Line a baking tray with Butter paper and grill the chicken pieces in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees Celsius, 15 minutes on each side.
4. Arrange the chicken pieces on a serving plate and pour the dressing over them.
5. Enjoy the hot & succulent Turkish Grilled Chicken!
6. Thank me Later.
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…