Chillies used in Turkish cuisine

Chillies used in Turkish cookingMost used Chillies

Chillies are that  important in Turkish cuisine that you find bowls of dried Maras Chilli and Urfa Biber on most tables. Unlike in the western world where black pepper is commonly used, crushed Chillies are used to season meals throughout Turkey. In addition,you will also  find  Aleppo pepper flakes being used (Pul biber) . The Aleppo is   a type of red pepper that is native to Syria, but also grown in Turkey. It has a moderate level of heat and is often used to add flavor and color to dishes)

You will also find Antep pepper (Antep biberi): a type of red pepper that is grown in the southeastern region of Turkey, near the city of Gaziantep. It has a medium to hot level of heat and is often used in meat dishes, stews, and soups). Bell pepper (Kırmızı biber): a sweet pepper that is also grown in Turkey. It is often used in salads, stuffed pepper dishes, and as a garnish) and also Green chili pepper (Sivri biber): a long, thin green chili pepper that is commonly used in Turkish cuisine. It has a medium level of heat and is often used in salads, dips, and as a garnish)

In addition to the above the the following Chillies are also grown  in Turkey:

Image assortment of chilliesBiber Marash  (Maras Chilli)  Probably the most important Chilli in Turkish cuisine, this medium-sweet red Chilli with fruity undertone is dried and crushed into flakes or a powder that is added to food while cooking or used as a seasoning. It has a Scoville rating of about 30000 -50000 SHU. It gets its name from a shortened version of the town of Kahramanmaraş in southern Turkey. It can be used to season dishes like Hunkar Begendi, Turkish meatballs’ kofta, hummus, eggs, sausages and kebabs. It can also be mixed with olive and lemon juice to be used as a marinade for chicken or as dipping oil (sans the lemon juice) for flatbreads. Also good, mixed with yoghurt. Similar to the dried Aleppo Chilli, which is grown both in Turkey and Syria, but it is more pungent

Urfa biber (Isot Pepper). Right up there with the Maras Chilli, it is also a seasoning found on most Turkish tables. When young, it is a deep green, but matures to a bright red colour. After harvesting, during a special seven-day process, the Chillies are sun-dried during the day and then tightly wrapped during the night. This results in dried dark purple pods with an intensified flavour. This process is known as sweating. After this drying and curing process, it is crushed for use as a condiment.

Once again similar to the Aleppo pepper (although more pungent), the Urfa Biber is named after the city of Urfa, (officially known as Şanlıurfa) in south-eastern Turkey. It has a   Scoville rating of 25000 to 50000 SHU and has a smoky flavour with notes of coffee, tobacco, and raisins. It can be used in a similar way to the Maras Chilli. Other uses include flavouring vegetables, seafood, and pungent cheeses.

Aci Sivri Biber (Hot Turkish long green pepper) Are long thin (twenty centimetres or more) Chillies that are slightly curved and pointed. They are commonly eaten when they are young and green, but can mature to a bright red colour. They are a Scoville rating of 5000 to 30000 SHU (ranging from mild to hot) and are typically pickled, grilled and served in salads. It is also used in Karides Guvec (a Turkish seafood dish made with prawns, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, and Chillies)

The use of Chillies in Turkish cuisine