What is Sumac ?
Sumac is the fruit of a bushy shrub that is grown in the middle east regions of Turkey and Iran and the Mediterranean region around Sicily. The fruit ripens in the form of conical clusters of berries that are sundried and then crushed into a dark and crimson/reddish powder. In Middle Eastern cooking Sumac is used as a souring agent (in place of lemon, tamarind or vinegar). It's used in everything from dry rubs, marinades, and dressings. Sumac is delicious on roast meat and in particular lamb, when mixed with paprika, pepper and oregano. The traditional herb/seed/spice mix of Zataar, is a blend of Sumac, Thyme, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Zataar or pure sumac is sprinkled on flat bread before toasting.
Uses & Ideas
- Use to garnish bowls of middle eastern dips like hommus or minted labnah, (natural sheep’s yogurt)
- Sprinkle over a Greek salad with dried oregano
- Combine 2 tsp sumac, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1 orange, zest only, 1 lime, zest only mix with 3 tablespoons olive oil to make a marinade and brush liberally over salmon or white fish before cooking.
- Mix with raw sweet onion and cucumber to make a side salad to serve with kebabs or for use in wraps
- Make a simple fattoush salad by combining diced tomato, cucumber, radish, spring onions, torn mint and parsley, crispy broken pieces of toasted pitta bread. Make a dressing with sumac, lemon juice/zest, olive oil, salt and pepper and drizzle over the well mixed salad.
- Try these delicious Sumac Lamb Cutlets with Fattoush (below):
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