Urfa Chili Flakes, also known as Urfa Biber, are a distinctive variety of Turkish chili pepper that has garnered acclaim for its unique flavor profile. Hailing from the Urfa region of Turkey, these flakes are not simply about heat; they offer a rich, earthy taste with smoky undertones, complemented by a subtle, raisin-like sweetness.
After being harvested, the chilies are cured in the sun, where they turn a deep burgundy shade and develop their characteristic smoky taste as the sun-dried peppers are tightly sealed at night. This process, known as "sweating," enhances the complexity of flavors.
Urfa Chili Flakes have a moderate heat that doesn't overpower but rather builds slowly, contributing more depth than just spice to dishes. They are incredibly versatile, making an appearance in various meat dishes, stews, and dips. They also add a complex flavor to vegetarian and vegan dishes, from hearty lentil soups to fresh salads and even as a topping on creamy hummus.
These chili flakes are a staple in Turkish kitchens but have found their way into international cuisines, often used as a finishing spice due to their beautiful color and full-bodied flavor that can complete a dish.
Beyond culinary uses, Urfa Chili Flakes are sometimes used in oils and infusions, imparting their distinctive aroma and taste to create intriguing condiments.
Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum
Also known as: Urfa Biber, Isot Pepper, Urfa