This topic is a few years old -- but I was looking to see if anyone had talked about the "special" peppers from Turkey & Syria -- in fact I have bought all 3, I think via Amazon
Whole Spice Chili Marash
Whole Spice Chili Urfa
Silver Cloud Estates Aleppo Pepper Flakes
Robert J. has gotten into the uses of Urfa. I decided I needed some after trying a recipe from the Aziza cookbook by chef Mourad Lahlou.
All 3 of these share some characteristics -- not as hot as most of our "chili powders" and not as dry. But with intriguing added aroma and sort of fruity flavors, with this warm "slow burn" that can build on the tongue.
Urfa seems to be added at the start of cooking a dish, whereas Marash is sprinkled at the end. Evidently it is a wonderful addition to tuna carpaccio.
Aleppo Pepper is used a lot like the way we use chili pepper, I have seen a recipe online for corn bread made with, like, a tablespoon of Aleppo Pepper, and it made me salivate (but I haven't made it yet).
With my current obsession with okra (I found a place to buy terrific young okra) and my figuring out what to do with my Aleppo pepper I googled up a recipe for Okra, Onion, and Tomato stew (by Martha Stewart!!) which I figured looked delicious. And it calls for "Aleppo." I put that together today and it really tastes delicious. But then I googled some more and realized that 1) often meat is included in this stew (not interested, not this time, 2) most recipes add some lemon flavor (which I have now done) and 3) the okra is often either mixed with or replaced by chickpeas. My wife had cooked up some chickpeas (with hummus in mind) and she let me take a cup to add to my recipe.
So what I have here is very much like the Robert J version of Middle Eastern Chick Peas, except that the pepper is Aleppo. I am very tempted to put in some Urfa as well, it's not nearly as hot as I like yet even though I have added a lot more Aleppo than the 1/4 teaspoon that Martha recommends.http://www.marthastewart.com/336704/okr ... omato-stew
Serves 4 to 6
Add to Shopping List
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound okra, tops and tails trimmed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (about 2 medium-size onions)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo (dried, lightly salted, crushed Turkish chiles)
2 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed, reserving juices
1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
2 tablespoons sliced and pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a medium stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the okra, and cook until color begins to change, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan, and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and repeat with remaining okra.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, and heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook until onions are lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Stir in oregano and Aleppo pepper, and cook 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved okra and chicken stock, stirring to combine. Simmer until okra is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in olives and parsley. Taste, and adjust for seasoning.