The dark reddish-purple berry has a tart flavour and was liberally used in ancient kitchens before the Romans introduced lemons to the rest of the world. It is essential to Middle Eastern dishes, and can be used as a powdered spice sprinkled over food, or dried, mashed, ground or macerated in hot water.
Christopher Kinsley, head chef at Flow at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, says: "During the month of Ramadan, sumac is great for regulating blood sugar levels, which is essential when breaking your fast because blood sugar levels can spike and crash, causing cravings. The chicken used in this dairy-free and diabetic-friendly recipe is also important because the proteins in chicken are lean and readily available. This means they replenish our muscles after a day of fasting and keep us from losing all-important muscle mass."
Grilled sumac baby chicken breast with tabbouleh
Ingredients and method for the stuffing:
2 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic
3tsp olive oil
Finely chop all ingredients and sweat on medium heat for five to eight minutes
Ingredients and method for the chicken:
2 medium free-range baby chicken breasts
2 medium boneless free-range baby chicken thighs
1tsp olive oil
Stuff the chicken thighs, and wrap and secure with tin foil (in a sausage shape). Roast at 180°C for 18 minutes.
Remove the foil, and return to the oven for a further three minutes. Roast the chicken breast with olive oil and sumac for eight to 10 minutes.
Ingredients for the dressing:
4 stuffed vine leaves
60g cherry tomatoes
5g chervil, chopped
5g parsley, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper
Ingredients and method for the tabbouleh:
5g white onion
10g diced tomato
10g cooked bulgur wheat
1/2 medium lemon, juiced
Finely chop all the ingredients and mix with lemon juice.
Serve chicken on a bed of tabbouleh, and garnish with the dressing and vine leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.