Turkish Bean Stew Recipe–Zeytinyağlı Barbunya

Humble beans, tomato, and pepper are elevated in this vegan Turkish dish

This is another simple Turkish dish that becomes more than the sum of its parts. So many Turkish dishes contain similar ingredients: onion, tomato, garlic, and red bell peppers. But this also traditionally uses a red speckled bean, called barbunya.

You can use pintos, borlotti, or cranberry beans, or probably any red beans, and get similar results. I like pintos, since we can get them very cheaply in huge bags at the warehouse store, and my father cooks them quickly in the pressure cooker. You can, of course, also use canned beans.

Turkish Bean Stew (Zeytinyağlı Barbunya)

  • 3 TABLESPOONS olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups (22 ounces, 625 grams) cooked beans (or 3 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup (235 milliliters) water
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces, 411 grams) diced tomatoes
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, cook oil, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and carrots on high heat, stirring often, until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients except parsley. Cook another 30 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Watch closely towards the end of the cooking time, and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom, so the mixture does not scorch.

Taste and adjust salt if necessary

Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Find the recipe for Turkish Zucchini Dip here

and the recipe for Muhammara, a roasted red pepper dip, here

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