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Are there any good substitutions for ground sumac?

I made fattoush last week, but had no sumac since my local grocery did not carry it and I had no time to go to a specialty grocery. Are there any decent substitutes for sumac?

asked by caroline_kuhn over 2 years ago
8 answers 62706 views

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 2 years ago

I've heard Jamie Oliver, on his show Jamie at Home, suggest fresh lemon juice in place of ground sumac for his Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs.

added over 2 years ago

Thank you! I do love Jamie Oliver. I heard sumac simply lends a sour taste to the dish, so that makes perfect sense!


Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

If I am out of sumac I sometimes mix ground black pepper with lemon zest and you get a similar flavor. it is peppery and lemony sometimes I add just a dash of paprika to the mix also.


Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Aleppo pepper might also be a sub (though it's found next to the sumac, so if you can't access one, you probably can't access the other!)

added 13 days ago

FYI unintended side effect (minor in the great scheme of things) of the current Syrian war is a shortage of Aleppo pepper.

added 12 days ago

most places had been selling Turkish "Aleppo" pepper for a while before too. You can get Maras in many middle eastern markets and it's almost the same taste.

added 13 days ago

I use Coriander, it's really the citrus acidity your looking for and while Coriander is a bit more herbal it's got a similar lemony/citrus kick.