White beans in tomato sauce

White beans in tomato sauce

Kuru fasulye

By
From
Istanbul
Serves
2-3
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This is a much-loved dish in Istanbul and across Turkey: steaming bowls appear on the lunch counters of esnaf lokantasi – cafés serving home-style food all over the city. Some say that the clay pot it is sometimes cooked in influences the flavour, others that it’s all about the chef manning the stove. You’ll find it made with meat – slow-cooked nuggets of lamb, chunks of chicken, slices of rich beef sucuk sausage – stewed with vegetables or served plain: the sauce almost a tomato broth. Traditionally it is eaten with fluffy rice and, maybe, some pickled vegetables. Try adding meat to this basic recipe, or cubes of fried aubergine. If you prefer to use dried beans, rather than canned, soak 115g in plenty of water overnight, then boil rapidly in plenty of water (without salt), for 10 minutes, then simmer until tender but not mushy, about 1 hour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green capsicum, deseeded and sliced into strips
20g butter
1 tablespoon turkish tomato paste or concentrated tomato pureee
1 teaspoon Quick red pepper paste, optional
1 large fresh tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced
pinch cumin seeds
300ml hot water
400g canned cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
salt
freshly ground black pepper
rice, to serve
or crusty bread, to serve

Method

  1. Soften the onion and pepper in the butter in a large pan over a low heat, stirring. After about 10 minutes, add the tomato and pepper pastes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, and then add the fresh tomato. Allow to cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan, just until fragrant. Grind them to a powder in a pestle and mortar and add to the tomato and onion mixture. Add the hot water to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the cannellini beans. Simmer everything, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to a thick soupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Taste and add a little seasoning. Serve with rice or crusty bread.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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