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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 about 3 years ago
8 answers 100061 views

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 3 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 about 3 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 about 3 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 about 3 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!)


Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 9 months ago

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

added 9 months 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 9 months 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.