Red Pepper

Kırmızı Bıber

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Sometimes sweet and mild, sometimes piquant and occasionally hot, kırmızı biber is the most useful spice of all. A type of chilli pepper originally from Mexico, it is roughly chopped and crushed into flakes or ground to a powder, pul biber, and ranges from a tomato colour to a deep red. There are several different types of kırmızı biber to choose from, varying in strength and oiliness. The best is crushed and rubbed with oil, which keeps it fresh and helps to impart the flavour immediately, without cooking. The oiled flakes can also be roasted in a heavy-based pan over a high heat or baked in the oven until almost black, which gives them an interesting kick and increases their strength. The uses and strength of kırmızı biber alter according to the regions, dominating the tastes of southeastern Anatolia - starting with the hot and spicy Adana kebabı (p.153).