Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine

Vegetable Stew (Türlü)

turkish-flagTurkish cuisine is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, köftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (Türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as Baklava, Söbiyet, Kadayıf, and Künefe.

Ingredients

  • aubergine

    aubergine

    5 medium-sized eggplants (aubergines), halved lenghtwise and sliced

  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 700 g green beans, ends cut and halved
  • 1 green bell pepper (paprika), deseeded and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • 100 g frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 20 g tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp red pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)

Preparation

Place the eggplants into a pot full of cold water with 1 tbsp salt, to prevent them from turning brown.

turkish-recipes-turluHeat up 1 – 2 tbsp of olive oil in another big enough cooking pot over medium heat. Add the green beans and saute for about 8 minutes.

Properly drain the eggplants and add them to the pot. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Add 500 ml water, then stir in the tomato paste and the red pepper sauce. Season with salt to your taste.

Bring the whole lot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 50 minutes, stirring from time to time. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.

This dish goes well with rice or bulgur pilaf.