Spices x2 : Black Urfa Chili and Ground Sumac

Ok - this time I know you guys will have suggestions for me! So far I have tried to sprinkle them both on hummus. I liked the urfa. It reminded me of what a dried mexican chili tastes like - smokey, dark, cocoa-esque but with less heat than the arbols etc. The sumac - hard to tell. I know it’s sour, and so is hummus. So I couldn’t taste it really. Obv the wrong vehicle.

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I use urfa like I use most ground chile, which means spice blends that call for ground chile. It is special though. Kind of moist and salty.

I use sumac when I need a dry souring agent, but not often enough.


I use urfa like pepper…I sprinkle it over the finished dish.

It’s slightly sweet and slightly smoky, with a lovely warmth (not heat) that I absolutely love. I love it on almost everything…it elevates avocado toast or poached eggs to a whole new level.


Turks use isot biber in many savoury things. Even sprinkle it on poached eggs with yogurt. It’s not the heat, which is not very much, but the flavour of the isot biber which elevates and takes a dish or ingredient to a new depth.

The biggest supermarket chain at home now stocks this Turkish pepper, a small amount for the same price of a big bag I get in the Turkish supermarket.

Recently I’ve found isot biber with (some) “chipotle” mixed in, I think. Still haven’t opened the bag. Will do when I am home again.


I love sumac! It adds a nice virtual flavor with less sharpness than lemon. Goes really nicely on salmon, broccoli, eggplant. I tend to add it after cooking to maintain the flavor.


I love these suggestions! I thought that the sumac didn’t come through because I put it on tart/tangy hummus, so I’m not sure how well it would come through on yogurt? Maybe I just need to use more. Or maybe yogurt is a purer flavor than hummus, which is already complex.

If the urfa is good on poached eggs (2 of you), then why not other egg preps? I don’t ever poach an egg. It seems so much work compared to frying one.

@shrinkwrap I don’t get a salty taste from the urfa, but it was moist in the jar which surprised me. Dried spices usually are not. Should I keep it in the fridge so it doesn’t mold?

I don’t. I beleive a little salt is added in the processing, and perhaps it prevents mold.

ETA Actually the link above says salt is added to prevent clumping.

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Mine is moist and hasn’t molded.

I like Urfa and sumac on pasta that has been tossed with butter and garlicky full-fat yogurt and topped with spiced ground beef and a little tomato sauce. I also often use za’atar and Aleppo chili on this.

Here’s some inspiration:


Thank you. I’ll peruse these soon. But I don’t know how appealing hot pasta tossed in yogurt sounds. At first blush, not so much…

My DIL makes Manti!


Did you like them?

Well, to be honest, I try to avoid pasta, but I enjoyed them okay. I think I prefer Chinese dumplings of various sorts, but don’t tell.

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I love in Florida where summer means humidity at 90% or more for months at a stretch (even in the air conditioning its still more than 70%) and no mold.

I eat it on eggs of all kind (it was amazing on deviled quail eggs), but breakfast is usually a poached egg on avocado toast.

Poaching is strictly a cheaters method: put a few tablespoons of water in a ramekin or custard cup. Gently break an egg into the water and microwave on high for 46 seconds (ymmv on time).

Poof. Acceptably poached egg. Bit perfect but edible and acceptable. My favorite chef is dumbfounded that I do this every morning.


I am trying this immediately. Well, in the next week. How cool!

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Big counter space!

I like all kinds of dumplings. Turkish are different. Georgian and Armenian are different again. Like them all (but don’t care for “soup dumplings”). It’s good to have choices.

@Sasha , if you eat olives, add some isot biber to the green olives in oil and “marinate” them for a while. Flavour kebab, köfte, vegetables, salads, casseroles, eggs, soups, stews. Goes particularly well with meat dishes. I also sprinkle some on pizza.

I remember reading restaurants in Urfa have a bowl of the peppers on the table. I keep mine in an air tight jar.

All dried chillies take a long time to process, from the beginning to the final product we buy in the shop, and a lot manual work. Enjoy and appreciate it.


Do make sure you put something over the ramekin (I use a plastic shield in my microwave with almost everything)

It usually wont explode, but they make an unholy mess if they do.

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I love ground sumac mixed with other items (thyme and sesame seeds essentially gives you za’atar) as a rub for salmon or chicken.

Try it on buttered popcorn, deviled eggs in place of sweet paprika, or sprinkled into a good olive oil with dried oregano for a bread dipping oil. It’s great on roasted Brussels sprouts, and mixed in to add some brightness to a turkey meatloaf.


Not to discourage you, but I don’t think microwaved egg or meat tastes very good. I’ve tried the poach and it looks correct but tastes wrong to me.

It’s definitely good on all egg preps.