If you couldn't use aleppo pepper or paprika in a recipe due to allergies, what would you use instead? Specifically, I am looking forward to making Rivka's Mujaddara, ASAP.
Thanks so much, PicklePals! ;o)
When Columbus sailed to America, he was looking for pepper. What he found that ended up being called "pepper" was not related... Those are the ones you are avoiding, in the Capsicum family. So to get the flavor lift, go back to the piper nigrum, especially one of the blends of black, white and green.
I would use white pepper, but start with half what the recipe asks for, I find that often it ends up being more intense than I would like. or add part of a shallot, it won't be the same, but it will be good.
If you use white pepper, make sure it is really fresh; ideally, buy white peppercorns and grind just before use. Makes a huge difference.
I would use cayenne pepper
I literally threw that dish together with what I had in the pantry, freezer and refrigerator, and it's so good that you can even be missing some ingredients and it will still be wonderful. So you could just leave it out and you'll still love it. Having said that, I think grains of paradise would be a nice substitute.
This recipe is very similar to Claudia Roden's (by way of Paula Wolfert - both fantastic sources for Middle Eastern cooking, btw) recipe for 'Megadarra'. I've made hers many times, because, as drbabs said, the ingredients are almost always on hand and it's delicious with so many things.
I wouldn't worry about the aleppo/hot paprika (I assume the allergy would be to any hot red pepper, not just those variants?) This is an ancient dish that no two cooks make exactly alike anyway - and it's very forgiving. I've used basmati, jasmine or plain old Carolina rice, and change up the yogurt spices depending on what I'm serving it with - I sometimes even do it super simply, with just some garlic, lemon and mint. I love aleppo and paprika, but I think your sauce will still be quite tasty without it.
Hey, thanks everyone. I used grains of paradise, as I happened to have some on hand that I bought a few months ago, but actually had not tried yet. It was a great choice. This recipe is excellent, although as I noted in the comments to it, the cinnamon I used was a bit strong, so next time I'll use a milder variety, and will use only a fraction of that called for, adding more to taste, if warranted. Thanks again! ;o)