Sumac comes from dried and coarsely-ground berries which have a sour, citrus-flavour. The burgundy-coloured sumac berries grow in clusters, and the dried berries are widely used throughout Middle Eastern cuisine in place of lemon juice, vinegar or tamarind.
Sprinkle the deep red sumac powder over hummus, or use to garnish Persian rice. Also try combining sumac with fresh lemon juice and olive oil as a salad dressing, or use the lemony flavours to season lahmacun flat breads and grilled fish. Equally, sumac enhances the flavour of lamb and chicken dishes with its citrus notes, and it is often rubbed into kebabs before cooking to cut through the fattiness of the meat.
Sumac is often spelled somaq or sumaq, though you may also see it written as sumach or sumak.