Aleppo Pepper is a spice mainly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. This is a type of Capsicum annuum, a plant species belonging to the Capsicum genus. It is also known as Halaby pepper, Near Eastern pepper, Halab Pepper and Pul Biber (Turkish). This pepper has a heat level of around 10000 on the Scoville scale.
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Aleppo Pepper Description
Here is a general description of the pods and flakes of Aleppo Pepper:
Pepper Pod: The pods used for making this spice turn burgundy when they ripen.
Color: It is bright red in color.
Flavor: The flavor resembles that of the ancho chile. Its fruity, raisin-like flavor has a mild hint of cumin. It is sometimes described as having a sweet flavor with a fragrance resembling sundried tomatoes.
Taste: It has a salty, slightly oily taste because salt is used during the drying process. The heat of this pepper is fairly mild but it tends to build throughout the meal.
Aleppo Pepper Plant Distribution
These plants are grown in places like Syria and Turkey. They mainly grow in Aleppo, a city located in northwestern Syria.
How is Aleppo Pepper Made?
The flakes and powder of this pepper are prepared from the ripe fruit pods of the Capsicum annuum plants. Properly ripe pods are semi-dried, de-seeded and then crushed in coarse powder. They can also be crumbled to make pepper flakes. Removing the seeds from the pods before crushing them makes the pepper less hot than many other types of pepper.
Aleppo Pepper Health Benefits
Like many other peppers, this variety also has many health benefits to offer:
- It is a rich source of various vitamins.
- The fibers present in it are beneficial for human health.
- Antioxidants present in the peppers prevent cell damage.
- This pepper is also beneficial for the immunity of the human body.
- It helps to relive inflammation related to asthma and arthritis.
- This hot pepper helps in digestion and accelerates metabolism rate.
Aleppo Pepper Nutrition Facts
Here is the nutritional value for on teaspoonful of this pepper:
|Total Fat||0.0 g|
|Carbohydrate||< 1 g|
|Protein||< 1 g|
Aleppo Pepper Uses
This variety of pepper is a great favorite among chefs all over the world. It is one of the main spices used in different cuisines.
- Aleppo Pepper flakes are widely used for increasing the flavor of various dishes like salads, soups, fish and kebabs.
- It is the main ingredient for many dishes that are served in a Meze.
- It is often sprinkled on potatoes, chicken preparations, deviled eggs and tuna salads.
- This spice is used for enhancing the taste of grilled meats like steak, chicken breast or chops.
- It is sometimes mixed with other herbs for adding a special flavor to roast chicken dishes, seafood and robust salads.
Using Aleppo Pepper during Pregnancy
Its use in any form should be avoided during pregnancy. One should consult an expert before consuming it.
Aleppo Pepper Side Effects
There are no known side effects of this pepper. But it may cause some adverse effects in some people in case of over consumption. Expert consultation is recommended in case of any side effect.
How to Store Aleppo Pepper
It should be stored in tightly sealed glass containers, in a cool and dry place away from heat and direct sunlight.
Aleppo Pepper Substitute
No spice can perfectly substitute another spice in a recipe. But, sweet paprika and cayenne can be used as an equivalent for Aleppo Pepper. One should mix 1 part cayenne and 4 parts sweet paprika for making a good substitute for the pepper.
Aleppo Pepper Recipes
Here are the names of some popular recipes using this pepper:
- Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
- Turkish Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo
- Grape Leaves Aleppo
- Spiced Tahini and Lemon
- Aleppo Pepper Gravy
- Grilled Corn with Aleppo-Pepper Aioli
- Aleppo-Rubbed Pork Ribs
Aleppo Pepper Availability
One can buy both the powder and the flake form in spice stores throughout the year. It is also available online at reasonable prices. 2.50 ounce of Aleppo Pepper flakes cost between $5 and $6 while the price for the ground pepper ranges from $3 to $5.
Aleppo Pepper seeds are occasionally available for those who want to grow them in herb gardens.
Aleppo Pepper Interesting Facts
Here are some interesting facts about this spice:
- It was rarely used in the United States, outside the Turkish and Syrian immigrant communities, until the late 20th century.
- According to the Los Angeles magazine, the popularity of this pepper increased in the US after publication of the Paula Wolfert book “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean”.
- It is named after the city of Aleppo in northern Syria.
Aleppo Pepper Pictures
Here are some images of the Aleppo Pepper.
- by Deepamala Bhattacharya
- February 10th 2012