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The Aleppo Way of Chiles

At Whole Spice we are always interested in all things spicy, which would include just about every kind of chile pepper on this great planet. We are especially fascinated by the complexity of the intense flavor, aroma and heat that these peppery pods can provide in all types of cuisines. From making great tasting sauces, marinades, and meat rubs to spicing up soups, stews and just about any food.I would be remiss if I didn't mention how red chile peppers also contain large amounts of vitamin C and small amounts of carotene translating into good contributors of health.

The pepper pods, also called berries, are either used fresh or dried. The best way to preserve chile peppers is to dry them for long periods of time or by pickling. The dried peppers are often ground into powders or are used whole by reconstituting them in water and then ground into a paste.

One of the peppers that I'm most familiar with is the Aleppo; it derives its name from the ancient city of Aleppo, a long-inhabited city along the silk-road in northern Syria close to the Turkish border. The popular pepper is used in most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

The Aleppo pepper is often crushed into flakes and is used in the same way as ordinary dried red chiles. And even though at first the Aleppo might have a mild heat, don't let that fool you; it can slowly build up enough heat to send tongues wagging for a glass of water.

If you are a spice lover like me, then you will enjoy experimenting with the many ways in which to use Aleppo chile pepper. You can add it to sauces, soups, marinades and meat rubs. It can also be used after cooking as a table condiment or as a finishing spice.

This weekend we made one of our favorite kebab dishes using Aleppo chile. If you want to enjoy something different, then below is the recipe for you and the whole family.

Syrian Beef Kebabs - click link