High praise for sumac, uses

As WFD conversations drift to individual ingredients, a discussion surrounding zaatar led to the spice sumac and its fragrant use in a variety of dishes. The first time I purchased sumac from a spice store, I was told it is a nice sub for fresh lemons in a dish adding a similar tartness. Beyond making a zaatar mix, I have used it to coat the rim of a cocktail glass, in scrambled eggs and in bastami rice. Many recipes calling for saute onions, include sumac.

What wonderful ways do you use sumac?


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Nothing spectacular here, I’m afraid.

It’s always sprinkled into fattoush. And it (or za’atar, which can include it already, depending on the mix) gets sprinkled onto khobez bread before it goes into the oven for , literally, 10 seconds to crisp up. When I remember, I also add it to toum - the Lebanese “aioli” which traditionally doesnt include sumac.


Toum. Light and airy dip. My first experience was buying a small container from an Armenian deli. Really nice smeared on poultry right out of the oven. Didn’t think about sumac, good deal.

Bread is just the best vessel for every flavor.!

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Traditionally served alongside the Lebanese/Syrian/Palestinian shish taouk (chicken kebab)


My Aunt sent me this link. When I mixed it up I used whole spices and stored in a repurposed jelly jar. When I used it I hand grind m&p , warm the olive oil add blend and serve with warmed naan, lavash or french bag.


Roasted potatoes
Roasted chicken with thyme
Baked pita chips

A great party snack: Toss whole almonds with olive oil, put on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a combo of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and kosher salt. Roast at 400° for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a deep golden brown.


For the sumac all you need is an Ottolenghi cookbook :joy:

And these are just a few of the vegetarian ones! He has more for chicken, lamb patties and rabbit saddle (?!) as well as more veg recipes


I LOVE sumac!

Use it for tartness anywhere you might use lemon or lime but don’t want wetness. Add to quick pickled anything (onions esp). Great on grilled meats and in ground meat mixtures like kebabs, sprinkled over dips and yogurt, even rice.

The first (non)recipe I tried and loved was this: toss chicken pieces with sumac, salt, and lots of sliced onions; line a baking dish with pita wedges; place chicken and onion mixture over pita, and drizzle with oil, and bake till chicken is done and pita is crisp around the edges. It’s called Musakhan or M’sakhan with many variations.


Thanks for getting this discussion revved up, Rooster. I LOVE sumac!

Serious Eats has some nice ideas. Ice cream topping, anyone?

I sprinkle sumac on homemade hummus and white bean dip.

My riff on the flavors of Turkish manti - elbow macaroni tossed with jarred Turkish hot pepper paste, butter, and whole milk yogurt and topped with a ton of sumac and Urfa biber.

I have an “Uzbek” marinade for lamb. Although I doubt sumac is used there, it is tasty:
ground cumin
cumin seed
lots of garlic
olive oil
smoked salt
minced white onion

This Iraqi “burger” recipe calls to me:

And I adore Sabrina Ghayour’s blood orange and radicchio salad with sumac dressing: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/blood-orange-and-radicchio-salad-hn3q3r5wzz7

More ideas to come!


:+1:outstanding. I’m learning alot!

@ChristinaM, the Iraqi recipe for burgers with sumac link isn’t opening.

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Can you buy manti or do you make the dumplings?

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I just use macaroni noodles! Beef tortellini would be a reasonable sub.

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Clever! I found a recipe link for making the dumplings. My niece has been stopping by on wknds for a guitar lesson and some baking. i think trying dumplings might me a fun alternative. If we mess up I’ll boil elbows😋

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12 posts were split to a new topic: Baking powder and baking soda for meat, thoughts?

Loving sumac this month, although can’t recall in what. I feel like I’ve been so many places, and cooked and eaten so many things. I’m recalling garbanzos, cauliflower, both of which I’m halfway through preparing again this week.

Well and of course both sumac or za’atar is more than welcome ontop of hummus!
Can’t remember where i was but the restaurant served homemade pita chips with za’atar as a free snacky thing at the table (and to use up day old pita probably!)

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I’m going to try it with some roasted chickpeas today.

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I saved this “recipe” for chicken schawarma from an episode of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives". It hails from a restaurant called Zaytoon:


Crushed red pepper

Tomato paste

Garlic minced

Spanish paprika





White Vinegar

Black pepper

Marinate chicken thighs and roast on a spit with an onion on top.


Thanks! Sounds really good and easy.

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