Turkish Borlotti Bean Stew Barbunya Pilaki

A light, easy one-pot stew ideal for lazy summer days. Usually served cold but also delicious warm. The dish is gently seasoned with basil and pepper and has both refreshing and sweet tones. Wonderful with cacık and pickled or garlic-based foods. 



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Category: Mezes & Appetizers Vegetable based dishes 'Zeytinyağlılar' Beans & Peas
Seasons Summer
Cuisine Type Turkish


Cranberry bean stew

1 Kg Borlotti / Cranberry beans (around 500grams once depodded)
Jolly good glue of olive oil
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Large Garlic cloves, minced
1 Large Carrot, diced
1 Medium Potato, diced (Optional)
1 Sweet green pepper, diced
1 Sweet red pepper, diced
1 Heaped Teaspoon Tomato paste (Domates salçası)
1/2 Teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pul biber / Aleppo pepper flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar or honey
400 Ml Hot water (2 'Su' glasses)
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Turkish Borlotti Bean Stew Barbunya Pilaki Directions

  1. Heat some oil in a saucepan (one that has a lid) and fry the onions on low until softened and glossy, add the garlic and allow it to also soften but not brown.
  2. Fry the vegetables for a few minutes allowing them to also soften add the carrot and potato (if using) and fry gently, enough to slightly brown the edges, these crisped edges offer an extra sweet tone to the nutty beans.
  3. Use the spoon to create a well in the centre of the frying pan and if the olive oil has been soaked up by the vegetables completely add a dribble into this well.
  4. Add the tomato paste into the oil until it begins to loosens.
  5. Blend the herbs, lemon and sugar into the salça and then mix this around the saucepan coating all the vegetables.
  6. Pour the hot water into the pan and stir. 
  7. Mix in the beans and cover the saucepan.
  8. Cook on medium heat for around 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are softened but are still have a little bite.
  9. For an authentic Turkish dish, allow the beans to cool to room temperature and serve with a good glug of olive oil and a further squeeze of lemon juice.
  10. Barbunya is often served with rice and turşu (pickles or food served in sour juice)

Recipe notes

You can change the vegetables and flavouring as you fancy. Some people prefer without potato for an even lighter stew and use any white bean should you not be able to find the borlotti bean.

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