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Saffy

Sommaq, Sumac, Sumak

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Hector   

I will (as soon as time lets me) try to make Sumac (and maby something else) Ice cream. More about that coming up.

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maftoul   

We make a mix of sumac, crushed aleppo pepper and dried mint and sprinkle it on olive oil roasted potatoes right when they come out of the oven. Add some hummus, feta, sliced tomatoes and pita and we have a nice light supper.

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You can also make a syrup with sumac and drizzle it on grilled meats and use it in salad dressings and marinades.

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this is a fabulous thread for sumac-lovers, i feel like running right into the kitchen and trying out half the stuff, esp the lemonade.

last week i ate a turkish potato salad that was so bright and reviving:

boiled diced potatoes, lemon juice, onion+garlic, tons of sumac and lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil. this is my new best friend in the potato-salad department. delicious on a bed of salady greens.

marlena

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sazji   

I am pretty sure that the sumac sold in middle eastern grocery stores is the kind that grows in the Middle East, not the American species. The American ones (Rhus typhina, Rhus glabra) have sour berries but they are still quite different, the berries are small and fuzzy, carried in dense red clusters above the foliage. Poison sumac (Rhus vernix - now reclassified into the genus Toxicodendron rather than Rhus) has white berries in loose clusters scattered over the plant, so it's easy to distinguish them. R. coriaria (Med. sumac) has much larger, dark berries.

You can see pictures of both the American and Mediterranean species Here The last picture on the page is a very good one of the Mediterranean species.

One thing I do with it is to soak a handful of whole sumac overnight (a couple hours is probably fine) in hot water, and then strain and use it in the cooking water for meat dolma. (rice, meat, isot pepper, tomatoes, parsley, pepper paste, tomato paste, onion if desired, salt, black pepper, some butter). If you can't find whole sumac you can just add the ground sumac directly to the filling. Fill the fresh or dried peppers/eggplant/vine leaves/whatever with the filling, rice uncooked, cover with a couple fingers of water (including the sumac), add a bit of tomato paste and oil or butter, weight with a plate, simmer till done. I haven't tried soaking the ground sumac but it might work as well.


Edited by sazji (log)

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Naftal   

Here is a question regarding sumac and turkish food: Would sumac work in imam bayildi ? I am thinking that I could use it instead of the 2T of lemon juice my recipe calls for. What do you think, should I do it,or not?????????


Edited by Naftal (log)

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sazji   
Here is a question regarding sumac and turkish food: Would  sumac work in imam bayildi ? I am thinking that I could use it instead of the 2T of lemon juice my recipe calls for. What do you think, should I do it,or not?????????

I wouldn't because I think the astringent side of it might be a bit obtrusive. Lemon is a bright tartness to me, sumac is dark and woody. But no harm in trying it! You could make a batch with a little less lemon, make a bit of sumac water and put that over in place of the squeeze of lemon, and see how you like it. If you don't you could squeeze lemon juice over the rest.

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Perri   
Zaatar is a plant (Majorana syriaca) - traditionally the leaves are used as a seasoning.  There are countless blends of spices that people use for a similar taste, but the right way to make zaatar is to use zaatar leaves.

Right. But none of the blends I sell (or have seen) actually use zaatar leaves.

I don't have any real recipes that use sumac, but occasionally I'll use it when I make chicken kebabs. Just mix ground chicken with sumac, a little cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, grated red onion - onto sticks and chill. Grill and serve with fresh pita.

Zaa'tar would never be Zaa'tar if it didnt have the realt plant in it. Most zaa'tar blends are faked with parsley in them. zaa'tar, sesame seeds, sumac is the realy zaa'tar ussed for manoushi & with labane.

its the only one i have ever known :biggrin:

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Shel_B   

A couple of friends brought me a package of sumac from the Istanbul Spice Bazaar.  Any suggestions on how to use it?

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An aside-----

We have large amounts of staghorn sumac growing around us. Can this be used the same way as "spice market" sumac?

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saluki   

Turkish Red Lentil soup uses it....... Ana Sortun also has a Red Lentil Soup recipe that uses it

http://www.thespicehouse.com/recipes/tomato-and-red-lentil-soup-recipe

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304096104579240441143257778

I've also seen it sprinkled on fried eggs.

 

I use it most frequently when I make Greek and Israeli salads.  It really gives them alot of zingy flavor---love it in there........

 

 I also use it sprinkled over Persian steamed rice (chelo).........

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Franci   

I personally like to use it a lot on top of dry meat like bresaola, pastirma, bündnerfleisch but also on carpacci.  On top of some fish dishes as well, like grilled calamari, or seafood salads.

And I like it a lot in a traditional turkish salad to serve with grilled meats: sweet onion paper thin with chopped parsley and plenty of sumac. The onion like that is really very good to eat with "Albanian" liver another turkish recipe I'm a big fan. You can add it to yogurt to make a savory sauce.

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Use it to top hummus.

I make my hummus very stiff (I use an Indian wet grinder) with lots of lime juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and red pepper.

When I plate it, I put little dimples across the top with the back of a 1/4t measuring spoon, fill them with olive oil using a disposable 1 ml pipette, then top with ground sumac followed by fresh cilantro.  Serve with oven baked corn chips (cut 6" corn tortillas in quarters, no salt, convection bake 15 min @ 350°F on a perforated 1/2 sheet pan, 20% humidity, low fan speed).


Edited by DocDougherty (log)

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Hassouni   

The traditional Middle Eastern applications are: Salads as a souring agent (think fattoush), sprinkled atop grilled meat, and also often as a marinade for meat before it gets grilled or roasted. In Iran, when served with kabab, sumac and butter are mixed into cooked rice (chelow) along with a raw egg yolk (delicious!) Also, alongside grilled meat, a sort of onion salad is served, which is just thinly sliced onion mixed with parsley and sumac. It's also sometimes mixed in with thyme and other herbs for za'tar mixes (the Arabic word za'tar specifically refers to thyme, but even in Arabic it more often is used for the herb mix).

 

As someone who grew up with the stuff that's basically all I use it for

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I've added it to spice rubs for pork, duck, salmon and other rich meats where I wanted that hint of acidity and fruitiness. It's a pretty non-standard ingredient on something like pulled pork, but I liked the effect.

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Shel_B   

Thanks for all the ideas.  The friends who got me the sumac (and other spices) will be coming to dinner in a couple of weeks, and I want to include some of the spices they brought back.

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