Syrian Stuffed Peppers, Aleppo Version

Published May 25, 2018

Syrian Stuffed Peppers are just one vegetable that Sitto loved to make! Of course, we enjoyed stuffed squash, grape leaves, cabbage, onions, even carrots! These innovative cooks had their basic filling mixes, but how and what they cooked were many and varied, to say the least! In the Middle East, there are many versions of stuffed peppers, depending on the region. But to all, this is considered a delicious and hearty meal! This Aleppo version is fragrant and rich in spices with those unique tamarind flavors. The hearty meat and rice filling, enhanced with allspice, is a typical favorite of these Syrian cooks. The simmering tomato sauce, with hints of mint, Aleppo pepper, Datah, that Syrian Spice blend, and garlic gives an inviting aroma to this favorite dish of our Syrian family.

Speaking of mint, I do remember that Sitto grew and dried her peppermint leaves, which were an integral part of many of the Syrian meals she prepared. Sitto’s backyard had her little patch of mint, which she picked every few days. She’d rinse the leaves and then dry them in the sun. I’d watch as she ran her fingers down the stem, the dried leaves falling into her jars, ready for all the winter meals she would prepare. Even today, the scent of that mint stays with me, taking me back to those days each time I open my own jar of mint in my kitchen. You may be surprised to realize that just a bit of mint in a dish sets it apart. In fact, spices always tell us the geography of a dish and I am so delighted to have been brought up with the exciting flavors of Aleppo cuisine!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for our Syrian Stuffed Peppers. See page 102 of Sitto’s Kitchen II cookbook.