Take a look at our latest recipe, Babaannesi (Grandmas) Turkish Chickpea Stew. It’s a firm favourite in our house and really healthy to boot – gluten free, vegetarian, vegan even and packed full of protein…
Turkey is fabulous for vegetarians and anyone that enjoys meat free dishes. Many traditional family meals are veggie or legume based. And, for those adamant no meal is complete without a meaty morsel, try some of the Turkish vegetable dishes on offer – you may well be surprised!
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans as they are sometimes referred, are cultivated in Turkey and the Mediterranean therefore feature prominently on family menus. The most common type are small, round and beige, but some fancy suppliers or supermarkets in the UK now stock green, red and black versions. For this Turkish chickpea stew recipe, dried lentils brought cheaply from Fethiye’s Tuesday market were used.
Vegetarian Turkish Chickpea Stew (Serves 3/4)
1 Cup dried chickpeas or one tin of chickpeas, drained
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Large carrot, diced
1 or 2 Red peppers, seeded and diced
2 Cloves garlic
1 Large ripe tomato, diced
1 Dessert spoon salca (tomato paste)
1 Handful fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Few leaves fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried (optional)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or crumbled dried chilli (optional)
2 Cups vegetable stock
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method: (If using tinned chickpeas go straight to step 2)
- Prepare dried chickpeas. Soak the dry chickpeas in a bowl full of water overnight. Drain, pop in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil then allow to simmer away for around 30-45 minutes until tender (almost cooked but still with a little bite). Drain and set aside.
Make the sauce. Using a large saucepan, fry the diced onions, carrots and diced peppers in the olive oil over a medium heat until cooked (around 5 minutes). Add the garlic, dry herbs and pepper flakes if using and fry for another couple of minutes until combined. Stir in the tomato paste first, then the diced tomatoes, and finally the chickpeas. Pour over the vegetable stock, give it a good mix, cover and leave it all to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas are soft and to your liking. Do stir and check occasionally so that the dish doesn’t stick or boil dry.
- Finishing touches. Just before turning off the heat stir through some chopped parsley and basil until wilted. Check for seasoning and add a pinch of sugar if the tomato sauce tastes a little tart. Mash a few of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon if the sauce needs thickening.
Serve it up. Babaanne tends to serve up this chickpea stew either warm or at room temperature. For the Turks, she simply ladles it up in a bowl and they happily munch away using a big hunk of fresh crusty bread to mop up the sauce. She then follows it with rice, bulgur or pasta. I, on the other hand, as a yabanci (foreigner), like to mix it up. I dish it up as pictured with a little Turkish rice, a seasonal salad on the side and a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top. I have also seen this served as a side dish alongside grilled meats and as a meze at BBQs. Give it a go, it’s certainly tasty and great if you are doing the new craze of meat free Mondays!
Have you tried this Turkish chickpea stew recipe? Please let us know what you think and leave a comment below.
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