I really like Turkish food, and this is a delicious, easy dish to make. I posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week and a few people asked for the recipe, so here is the version I follow…
Please note, we judge things by eye, we don’t really measure things, you’ll need to adjust the recipe based on your taste. This recipe is more than enough for 2-3 people, we had leftovers.
1.5 cups of dried white beans. (Dried cannellini beans is the name I believe, you can buy them in supermarkets in the UK – I checked).
1 or 1.5 onions, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste
red pepper flakes
First, you need to soak the beans in water for around 12 hours, or overnight the day before you plan to cook them.
When you’re ready to start cooking, drain and rinse the beans then put them into a large saucepan/cooking pot with 4-5 cups of fresh water, bring this to the boil and then turn down to a low heat. Leave this to boil gently for around 45-60 minutes, but keep checking back and topping up the water as required. You need to cook the beans until they are soft, but not quite fully cooked.
Once they reach this stage, you can begin to prepare the other ingredients, but don’t turn off the heat on the beans.
Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and saute the onion with the olive oil for around 3-5 minutes or until soft, don’t let them burn. (If you wanted to add meat, you could at this point, diced red meat works well. You could also add peeled, chopped tomatoes and/or peppers if you wish – we didn’t).
Then add your tomato paste, stirring it into the onions. Once it is all stirred together and soft, add this mixture to the beans and water and stir gently. You can add salt and red pepper flakes, we like this dish both salty and slightly spicy, so we added quite a lot of both.
Leave this on a low heat to simmer for around 20-30 minutes, or until the beans are soft enough for your liking, there’s no set time and cooking times vary according to the appliance, just keep an eye on the beans and keep testing them until you’re happy with the taste and texture.
The result is a delicious, hearty bean stew. We serve it with a plate of rice and fresh, crusty bread, which is perfect for dipping in and mopping up the ‘juice’ – yum! Berkay eats his with a quarter of raw onion covered in salt, I never understand that, it must be a Turkish thing!
It’s such a cheap and easy dish to make, it’s filling and really warms you up too so it’s a very popular winter dish here. We don’t make it too often as it uses up a lot of our gas bottle due to the length of the cooking time, but you can easily make it in bulk and freeze the leftovers. It’s also possible to skip the first 2 steps and use canned white beans instead, which greatly reduces the cooking time.
I’m always a little nervous posting recipes, I’m not a very good cook and all these Turkish dishes I learnt from Berkay so I’m hoping he knows his stuff and is teaching me well – it’s difficult to learn when he’s not very specific on exact measurements! Let me know if you try this recipe, or perhaps suggest a different version? Have you tried the dish before?
I’ll be posting a Turkish rice recipe soon.. (: