Stew with polow

Persian Sumac Stew خورش سماق

This stew has a very unique taste due to sumac as main ingredient. Sumac سماق  with it’s purple colour, salty and zesty flavour give very unique taste to the dish. . In Iran and Middle East countries sumac is popular spice.

In Iranian cuisine sumac is used for garnishing kebab or rice. You can add it to salad as well. This stew is one of those forgotten dishes in Persian cuisine and you should be luck to get a try. This is my mother’s recipe for sumac stew with beef but you can substitute beef for lamb meat too.

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Sumac is a beautiful colourful spice that is popular and widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine.. Please do not confuse this sumac with poison sumac that cause skin rash. in different ways.

Sumac has a reddish-purple colour with salty-lemony taste. it’s used in different ways such as, in cooking by adding to salad, rice, stew, topping kebab and soup. Sumac has medicinal use and dyeing vegetables and wool as well.There is beautiful mountainous area in East Azerbaijan in Iran, is called ‘ Arasbaaran’. Every year at the end of the Summer and beginning of the Autumn, during a ‘sumac harvest festival’ , Sumac fruits is collected and in a process dry sumac fruit and make sumac powder

200g beef /lamb , diced
2 large onions, cut into rings
1 large potato, diced in cube shape
5tbsp sumac powder
1/2tsp turmeric
1/2tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a pan and sauté diced meat until change the colour. In a separate pan fry turmeric, cinnamon and pepper for 1 minute, once fried spices starts to develop aroma, remove from the heat.
Add some water and all fried spices to the sauteed meat and cook it until the meat is tender.
Once meat is cooked, season with salt. Fry the onions and potatoes. Add them to the cooked meat. Finally add sumac powder as well. Pour 250 ml water , gently stir all ingredients together. Taste the stew and if needs more pepper or salt, season it. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Sumac stew is served with rice.
Bon appetite


2 thoughts on “Persian Sumac Stew خورش سماق”

  1. Mmmm. I bet this is delicious. I have used suman berries to make a lemonade type of drink, but never for cooking. I’ll have to check some plants to see if there’s anything left to harvest. 🙂

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