Our Black Urfa Chili comes from southeastern Turkey, where you'll find it on almost every table. It's a deeply savory, not-so-spicy chili that's delicious on kebabs and other grilled foods. Try it cooked into stews and chilis, in salad dressings, sprinkled on fluffy scrambled eggs, and even mixed into brownies and other chocolate desserts for a little extra depth and a hint of heat.
After being cured, the black Urfa chili is packed with salt and a little sunflower seed oil to preserve its natural texture and flavor and prevent it from drying out.
Please note that the Black Urfa Chili contains a little sunflower oil and may appear to be slightly clumpy or wet as a result, especially at cold temperatures. The oil is part of what makes the chili so delicious, and there's nothing to be concerned about if it looks a little wet.
What they're saying
Black Urfa Chili starts out as a red, sweet, spicy pepper almost identical to the more famous Aleppo pepper. It's grown in the hills around the ancient Turkish city of Urfa, where the hot, dry days, cold nights and sandy soil are part of its unique terroir. After harvesting, it's cured in the sun, where it changes color from red to black and develops its characteristic flavor profile, reminiscent of chocolate and dried fruits, with a lingering burn. It goes through a final stone-grinding step, where it's ground into flakes between massive granite wheels with a little bit of sea salt and sunflower seed oil. The oil helps preserve its natural texture and flavor and prevents it from drying out (and is delicious, too!).
Meet the Farmer: Bekir Bey is a chili pepper farmer just outside the city of Urfa, and in this photo he was out picking peppers in the blazing 104-degree heat. He and his family cultivate about 12 acres of chili peppers, almost all of which will be cut up, fermented and ground into the famous Black Urfa Chili Flakes. They spend about 10 months of the year planning, planting, tending, watering and harvesting these very special chili peppers. The combination of pepper variety (same as an Aleppo/Silk Chili), sandy soil, hot dry climate and very particular fermentation method all come together to create a pepper unlike any other in the world.
Chili goes in almost everything
I’ve used this chili alongside a couple others for both savory dishes (Dutch pot chicken, sauces, pesto), and more recently, my sweet bread (chocolate and chili is the best). Unlike the store bought spices which is quite overwhelming and who knows how old, Burlap and Barrel has a perfect selection that allows the new cook (ie. Me) and seasoned ones (haha) alike to feel comfortable to add a number of spices without the worry that you might mess up your dish. From someone who never liked cooking before, I look forward to digging into my spices to see what I can make next!
I used this, the Kashmiri Chili and some other Burlap & Barrel spices. It turned out beautifully and leftovers the next day were absolutely delicious.