This is truly a unique chili flake! It is a wonderful fermented chili from the Turkish town of Urfa. The spice is made from paprika peppers, which are slow dried in a oven. Drying process is unique, this "Sweating" method of sun-drying creates the long lasting taste and dark color of Isot chili.

Great tasting foods need great spices, this Isot chili is perfect in stews, risottos, meat dishes and roasted aubergines. Not only that, it makes a wonderful garnish and is eye-catching when sprinkled on food. Isot chili can replace black pepper in food. We also love isot chili fried in a little butter and drizzled over breakfast eggs.

Flavour: warm, rounded, smoky spice

SHU (Scovile heat unit) - 35.000

No added flavour enhancers

Rich in Minerals and Vitamins

Produced in Turkey

SKU: 152_ IsotChilli
Key Benefits

Wonderful fermented chili from the Turkish.

Isot chili is surprising for its gentle heat, fruity taste and chocolate undertones.

Perfect in stews, risottos, meat dishes and roasted aubergines.

SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) - 35.000.

45 gr / 1.59oz jar


 Isot Chili Pepper, what is it, its benefits, and how to use it

What is Isot Chili, and where does it come from?

Isot Chili Pepper (also known as Urfa Biber or Isot Biber) is a dried Turkish chili pepper of the Capsicum annuum type that is grown in the Urfa area of Turkey, near the Syrian border (that's why it's sometimes called Urfa Biber, "biber" translates to "pepper" in Turkish!). 

The Turks have been growing Urfa Biber for ages, and it is a genuinely one-of-a-kind pepper loved by the Turkish cuisine and many others! Unlike Western cuisine, the Turkish don't use much black pepper in their daily cooking. Instead, they use a wide variety of chilis, and thus Isot chili has an essential part of their cuisine!

Isot Chili pepper is mainly used in meat and savory foods in Turkish and Kurdish cuisine. However, as the amazing Urfa Biber is becoming more well-known and famous in western cuisine, we've added a delicious recipe to the end of this article. This way, you can experience the fantastic taste of the pepper from Urfa yourself! 

How is Isot Chili pepper made?

Isot Chili is frequently described as having a smoky flavor, something raisin-like. It's a red (chili) pepper that ripens to a dark crimson color on the plant. The preparation of the pepper takes time and is a slow process.

The process usually goes like this: the (initially red) Isot peppers are sun-dried during the day, and as a result, the chiles are exposed to direct sunlight, which cooks them to a dark maroon color.

After cooking in the sun, the peppers are carefully wrapped at night. 'Sweating' (because the peppers remain moist under the wrapping) is the nocturnal procedure that seeks to infuse the dried pepper with the remaining moisture. 

When the pepper's color reaches dark tones, it is entirely ready. However, the Urfa Biber is never left to dry completely, so you will notice the dampness when purchasing a jar for yourself! 

The next step is to crush it into small flakes and add a bit of salt before packaging to prevent the flakes from sticking to each other. The end result is a deep purple to a dark, purplish-black look and an amazing fragrance! 

What does Isot Chili taste like, and is it a strong pepper?

Urfa Biber is milder than many other chili peppers, yet it produces a longer-lasting heat. In addition, the extensive sun-drying has given the Isot Chili pepper a delicious, somewhat smokey, and sweet flavor. 

The Isot Chili has a pungency of 35,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. For comparison, usually, Jalapeno pepper scores around 2,500-5000 SHU, while the most pungent pepper in the world, Red Savina Habanero, scores around 350,000–570,000 SHU. 

This unique colored chili indeed surprises with its mild heat, fruity flavor, and chocolate overtones. Its beautiful color makes it an ideal garnish, as when sprinkled on food, it definitely will catch everyone's eyes! We suggest adding Isot pepper to the meat, potatoes, broccoli, other vegetables, cream cheese, and a garnish onto sauces and soups! 

It is an exceptional pepper due to its unique and distinctive taste, color, and texture.

How to use the Isot Chili pepper?

In addition to our previous suggestion to try Isot Chili with all kinds of meat and vegetables, we've also found that the pepper is said to be "a best friend of any gourmet." 

The pepper simply improves whatever it comes into contact with. Its acidity, heat, and saltiness are all present and bring out the best flavors of all food products it's used together with. 

The Turkish love to mix the pepper with cumin, onion, paprika, and seeds and then use it in sauces, soups, etc. They combine the Urfa Biber with yogurt or cream cheese as a dipping sauce or spread. The pepper gives it a mild taste together with a beautiful red color. 

Due to its unique features, it is such an easy pepper to use at home - no need to cook or prepare it, just sprinkle it onto whatever you want. A must-have in every gourmet's kitchen!

An amazing Isot Chili pepper recipe you have to try: 

Eggplant with Isot Chili Yogurt

This easy vegetarian recipe will take around 10 minutes (30 minutes salting beforehand) to prepare and make a delicious side dish. Not too spicy, just enough to taste amazing!

What will you need:

  • 1 eggplant, chopped into cubes
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Salt'sUp Isot Chili 
  • 2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 cup strained yogurt (we suggest Greek yogurt)
  • For garnishing: A handful of chopped cilantro

How to make it:

  1. Firstly, Place the eggplant in a colander over the sink and season with several large pinches of salt. Allow 30 minutes to sit so the salt can infuse the eggplant and bring out its best flavors!
  2. Secondly, heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat and drizzle in just enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom. Toss in the eggplant to cover it in oil. 
  3. Stir until the eggplant has developed a sear on multiple sides for five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the eggplant is extremely soft; keep turning regularly to avoid burning. 
  4. Add garlic, Isot Chili, and cumin to your eggplant. Cook the whole thing for 1 minute, or until your spices are fragrant, then remove the skillet from heat and rapidly toss in the yogurt to coat. Mix the yogurt with the eggplant cubes
  5. Cook until the yogurt sauce has thickened somewhat and small puddles of orange oil have formed (these come from the oil inside the Isot Chili flakes). Season to taste with salt and freshly chopped cilantro right before serving.
  6. Enjoy your delicious eggplant with Urfa Biber yogurt! 

Sounds like a recipe you’d want to try? Get a jar of the unique and delicious Isot Chili pepper from Salt'sUp!