I have to say that this dish more or less brought tears to my eyes. Call me odd… but it just tasted good. I hadn’t quite expected it… the ingredients and the cooking method are simple enough…but brought together, it’s as though the whole thing seems to transcend the sum of the parts….
There are cafes in Istanbul dedicated entirely to this dish. It invariably includes onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers and of course beans. There are variations, and meat is often, but not always included….but hey… the vegan version has surely got to be just as good……. well actually, better, because it’s peaceful food…..
Norm Phelps : “Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food.”
So, without more ado…here is the recipe:
TURKISH WHITE BEAN STEW
Serves 4 amply
- 4 tbs.olive oil
- 500 gms. pre-cooked white beans. Preferably Dermason Beans, or Cannellini.
- Note: They should be small rather than large beans. Fasulye means ‘dried beans’… so best soak a batch and cook and freeze…. but tinned beans are always a reasonable alternative…..
- approx. 400gms. big tasty tomatoes
- 1 large white onion
- 120gms. mushrooms
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 5 tbs. tomato puree paste
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 2 tsps. salt
- 1/2tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- enough warm water to cover ingredients for stew
- 80gms. Aleppo peppers / or another mild-moderate chilli pepper
- up to 70ml. cold water
- Preheat oven Gas Mk. 7/ 220C
- Slice the Aleppo or other chilli peppers in half and place in a small roasting tin with 1 tbs. olive oil.
- Cover tin with silver foil.
- Roast peppers 40mins.
- Remove peppers from oven and allow to cool little.
- Place roasted peppers with roasting oil and up to 70ml. water in blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Immerse tomatoes in just-boiled water for 10 mins. then remove skins.
- Slice tomatoes thinly.
- Peel and finely chop onion.
- Thinly slice mushrooms.
- Wash and remove seeds and pith from bell pepper.
- Thinly slice bell pepper.
- Peel and crush garlic cloves.
- In a big deep-sided pan, on a medium-high heat, add 3 tbs. olive oil.
- When hot, add diced onions, sauté 3 mins.
- Add garlic, saute 1 min.
- Add chilli flakes, saute 30 secs.
- Add tomato puree and hot pepper paste. Sauté 2 mins.
- Add sliced mushrooms and peppers. Combine and sauté: 1 min.
- Add skinned sliced tomatoes: saute 1 min.
- Add salt and black pepper.
- Add beans. Combine well.
- Add just enough warm water to cover everything by about 1cm.
- Bring to boil. Boil for a few minutes.
- Reduce heat to minimum, (use a heat diffuser if necessary), and cover.
- Cook for at least 40 mins. It will simmer gently and happily for about an hour.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary 10 mins. before serving.
Serve with a plain rice pilaf and sprinkled with sumac – a beautiful lemony-peppery traditionally middle-eastern spice.
Let compassion guide your choice of food
je suis Ankara