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Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) Beans Cooked with Vegetables

Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) beans cooked with onions, tomatoe and carrots in olive oil

Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil

Barbunya pilaki, borlotti beans cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, onions and carrots, is my father’s favorite Zeytinyagli, Vegetables cooked in olive oil, Turkish style. Pilaki is a style of Turkish mezze, where vegetables and beans are mainly cooked with onions, garlic, tomato in olive oil, with a little addition of sugar, to balance the flavors. We serve pilaki garnished with herbs and wedges of lemon; the tangy, refreshing lemon juice is really a must here and complements borlotti, barbunya means so well. Turkey’s much loved Barbunya Pilaki is served at room temperature or cold as a mezze or appetizer.

Fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) at Besiktas pazari, Istanbul

Fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) at Besiktas pazari, Istanbul

In Turkey, you can get the fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) or borlotti beans in abundance in summer, at the farmers markets, Pazar. It was my dad’s job at my parent’s home in Istanbul to pod them ready to be cooked and whoever is around joins in this therapeutic podding exercise. My dear belated father, Orhan, absolutely loved barbunya Pilaki; his face would lit up even the mention of it.

If you can’t get hold of fresh barbunya beans, try the dried borlotti (or cranberry beans, as they are called in the US) beans, like I have used here. They are easy to cook, wholesome and delicious. Dried or fresh borlotti beans work best in this dish.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans

A variety of kidney beans, borlotti beans are a large plump bean that is pinkish-brown in color with reddish-brown streaks. They are packed with goodness, rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. If you are using dried beans, they need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight. If you are pressed with time or can’t get the dried or fresh borlotti beans, try a good quality canned borlotti beans in this recipe; it will still be a nutritious, delicious meal.If you are using canned precooked borlotti beans, rinse the beans and set aside. Cook the vegetables first as per the recipe, for 20 minutes, and then gently combine the cooked beans into the pot and simmer further 10 minutes.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Traditional Barbunya Pilaki is quite a plain but delicious meal, mainly consisting of the beans, onions and tomatoes. I like adding carrots here, as their sweetness and texture goes well with barbunya. Our family loves Barbunya Pilaki therefore I tend to make a bit batch. It stays well in the fridge for good 3 days and as the flavors settle, tastes even better the next day. You can serve as part of a mezze spread, a delicious vegetarian and vegan course. We also enjoy Barbunya Pilaki next to grilled fish, meat and vegetables. If you choose to serve next to main courses, I suggest serving Barbunya Pilaki warm.

Barbunya Pilaki; borlotti or cranberry beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil.

Barbunya Pilaki; borlotti or cranberry beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil.

 I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious and wholesome Barbunya Pilaki.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

I am passionate about my homeland’s delicious, healthy Turkish cuisine; this recipe and over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland; Signed hardback copies are now 20 % OFF here, and delivered worldwide.

If you live in the US, Canada or Mexico, you can order a hardback copy with lower delivery rates here.

Afiyet Olsun.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) Beans Cooked with Vegetables
 
Barbunya pilaki, borlotti (or cranberry) beans cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, onions and carrots, is a much loved Zeytinyagli, Vegetables cooked in olive oil, Turkish style. Pilaki is a style of Turkish mezze, where vegetables and beans are mainly cooked with onions, garlic, tomato in olive oil, with a little addition of sugar, to balance the flavors. This vegetarian and vegan dish is easy, delicious and packed with goodness. Serve as part of mezze spread or accompany grills.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables and beans Cooked in Olive oil, Pilaki
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 350 gr/12 oz./2 cups dried borlotti beans (or cranberry beans), soaked in warm water overnight
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered and chopped in small cubes,
  • 400 gr/ 1 can of good quality canned chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp sugar
  • 45ml/3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 fl. oz./2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. Then drain the beans, rinse and transfer to a pot, filled with plenty of cold water.
  3. Bring the pot to the boil, partially cover the pot and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes. Make sure the beans become tender, but not soft or mushy, they should still have a bite to them.
  4. Drain and rinse the cooked beans under cold water and set them aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in the pot and stir in the onions, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, until they start to soften.
  6. Add the carrots, combine well and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the canned tomatoes and sugar, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine well.
  8. Add the beans to the pot and give it a good mix. Then pour in the water, combine well.
  9. Bring the pot to the boil; then turn the heat to low, cover the pan partially.
  10. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the beans are cooked (but not mushy). Check the seasoning and add a little more salt or ground black pepper if needed.
  11. Serve Barbunya Pilaki at room temperature or cold as part of a mezze spread or appetizer, garnished with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over. If you choose to serve next to main courses, I suggest serving Barbunya Pilaki warm.
Notes
If you are using dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans, they need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

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Baba ghanoush or Abagannuc; burnt eggplant salad with lemon, olive oil

Baba ghanoush; Abagannuc; burnt eggplant, tomatoes and peppers in garlic, olive oil and pomegranate molasses

Baba ghanoush or Abagannuc; burnt eggplant, tomatoes and peppers in garlic, olive oil and pomegranate molasses

This delicious salad or dip, Abagannuc or Baba ghanoush, is very popular in Antakya and Southern Turkish cuisine and one of our family favorites. It has many variations throughout the Middle East, where tahini maybe added or plain yoghurt and what to include or not include may invite heated debates! No matter how the finishing touch will be, the essence of this salad remains the same; the aubergines are traditionally cooked over open fire or over the burner to get the smoky flavor. The skin of aubergines and peppers burn and their flesh becomes soft, sweet and tender.

Kozmatik from home; a steel base with holes on it, a genius idea to cook/char grill the vegetables without much of a mess!

Kozmatik from home; a steel base with holes on it, a genius idea to cook/char grill the vegetables without much of a mess!

In Turkey, a very simple gadget called “Kozmatik” is used to cook the aubergines over the burner. It has a steel base with holes on it, a genius idea to cook the vegetables without much of a mess!

Leave the peeled eggplant fleshin the colander to drain its bitter juices.

Leave the peeled eggplant fleshin the colander to drain its bitter juices.

You can cook the aubergines a day ahead of time; just add ½ juice of lemon after mashing and combine well, that will help to retain its color. Cover and keep in the fridge until you make the salad. I also added a drizzle of pomegranate molasses as a dressing in this version; the smoky flavor of aubergines and peppers worked really well with pomegranate molasses. When in season, pomegranate seeds would also be lovely over this salad.

Abagannuc or baba ghanoush goes very well as part of a mezze spread or with any grills. I also love this dip on crackers or toasted bread with a nice sharp cheese or feta cheese aside.

Abagannuc or baba ghannoush, a delicious smoky eggplant salad with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.

Abagannuc or baba ghannoush, a delicious smoky eggplant salad with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book now available here

I hope you enjoy our version of Abagannuc or baba ghannoush, packed with flavor. This delicious meze and over 90 authentic recipes from my homeland are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table; signed copies available at this link (it is 10 % off), delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 6 reviews
Baba ghanoush-Abagannuc; burnt eggplant salad with garlic, olive oil
 
Abagannuc or baba ghanoush is a popular mezze or salad in southern Turkish cuisine, where eggplants are char grilled to get a delicious, smoky flavor. It has different versions throughout the Middle East. We'd like to add a little pomegranate molasses in our version for a tangy, sweet flavor. This salad / dip goes very well as part of a mezze spread or with any grills. I also love this dip on crackers or toasted bread with a nice sharp cheese or feta cheese aside.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish Mezzes, Salads
Cuisine: Regional Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 medium aubergines / eggplants
  • 1 pointy red pepper or bell pepper
  • 3 small, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed with salt and finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 30ml/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • A drizzle (about 10ml/2 tsp) pomegranate molasses to decorate (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
Instructions
  1. Line the base of your burners with a foil to protect, keeping only the burners exposed.
  2. Place the eggplants or aubergines and pepper directly over the burner on medium heat and roast for about 15 - 20 minutes, turning occasionally. (You can roast the tomatoes on a barbeque or on the oven at 200 C for about 20-25 minutes, as it can get quite messy over the burner.)
  3. If you prefer not to have the smoky flavor, you can also score the aubergines with a knife in few places and bake on a baking tray for 50 – 60 minutes. In this case, turn them around every 20 minutes or so that they would cook evenly. Pepper would need about 35-40 minutes to cook in the oven and chargrill.
  4. If you are cooking over the burner, use metal tongs to turn the aubergines and pepper around so that all sides would cook evenly and the skin is nicely chargrilled. Cook until the skin is burnt and the flesh is soft.
  5. Remove the cooked aubergines, tomatoes and the pepper to a colander to allow them to cool. Once cool, peel and discard their burnt skin and leave them in the colander to drain aubergine’s bitter juices. I like to gently squeeze the aubergine flesh to drain as much water as possible.
  6. Chop the flesh of the aubergine, pepper and tomatoes coarsely and mash them with a fork.
  7. Place the flesh in a bowl and stir in the chopped garlic, lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil, combine well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. When serving, drizzle with pomegranate molasses over (if you prefer to) and give a gentle mix; its tangy flavor works really well with the smoked aubergine and peppers.
 

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Ezo Gelin Corba; Turkish Spicy Red Lentil and Bulgur Soup

Ezo Gelin Corbasi; Spicy Turkish lentil & bulgur soup with dried mint and red pepper flakes; wholesome and delicious

Ezo Gelin Corbasi; Spicy Turkish lentil & bulgur soup with dried mint and red pepper flakes; wholesome and delicious

Soups have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with them. In Anatolia, it is very common to have soup to start the day, especially in winter. This spicy lentil soup is one of my favorites; rich in fiber and protein, very delicious and easy to make. It is also a great example of how we add flavor to our dishes thru spices. Named after the bride “Ezo” who managed to impress her in-laws with this heartwarming soup, this soup is so delicious and simple to make that you will want to make it all the time! It also freezes very well, so I recommend to make a big batch and freeze some for a heart and soul warming lunch or supper.

Note: Red pepper paste, biber salcasi, adds a wonderful, rich flavour to the soup. You can make your own red pepper paste, biber salcasi, with my recipe here. If you prefer not to use red pepper paste, you can increase the amount of tomato paste to 5 tablespoons and the pul biber or red pepper flakes to 3 teaspoons or even more, depending on how spicy you would like.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

Ezo Gelin Corba and many other hearty soups and authentic, wholesome Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, Signed copies are now 20 % OFF  at this link , for a limited time and delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.

Serves 6
Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 40 minutes

290 gr/1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
45 ml / 3 tablespoons coarse bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
1.75 litres / 7 1/2 cups  water
60 ml / 4 tablespoons tomato paste

15ml/ 1 tablespoon Turkish hot red pepper paste, biber salcasi
30ml /2 tablespoons olive oil

15ml/1 tablespoon dried mint

Juice of 1 lemon

To Serve:
10 ml / 2 tsp dried mint
5 ml / 1 tsp pul biber, red pepper flakes / paprika flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon wedges to serve

Heat the olive oil in a heavy, medium-sized pot and stir in the onions. Cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring often, this will soften the onions. Add the lentils and the water. Cover and bring the pot to the boil. Cook over a medium to low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the bulgur, tomato paste, red pepper paste and dried mint, season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, until the bulgur is cooked. Add some more water if the soup appears to be too thick. Pour in the lemon juice and mix well.

To serve, pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a small pan and stir in the dried mint and pul biber / red pepper flakes. Stir and gently cook over a low heat for about 40 seconds. Pour in this sauce into the soup and combine well.

Serve hot with lemon wedges by the side.

Ezo Gelin Corba; Spicy lentil and bulgur soup; image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table by Sian Irvine Photography

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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