While I was reading the lovely comments written on my post, dad called me and asked if I added his favorite dish to my blog. I told him that I added a similar version of it, but he insisted on his favorite one, which is white beans with meat. A few months ago, I wrote a post about haricot beans with pastirma, which is my hubby’s favorite. As you see they both love beans, but dad is crazy about the one with meat while hubby adores the one with pastirma. Whenever my dad visits us, I cook both versions in different pots to prevent possible fights! After this phone call from dad, I understood that it became a must to cook and write about my dad’s favorite dish. Otherwise, he would ask it again in his next call.
This is a traditional Turkish dish and it’s associated with Turks around the world just like sish kebab. We generally serve it with rice or bulgur pilaf and pickles are indispensable appetizers to be eaten with this traditional dish. (By the way, I adore spicy pickle stock which are sold in pickle shops here). We also love eating onion with it, which is another tradition of Turks. We just slice an onion into four and we shred it while eating. You may find it funny, but there is also a traditional way of slicing onion. You put the onion on table and hit just on top of it with your fist, you’ll see how it’s shredded without using a knife. That is called “breaking onion”. Do you find it barbaric? In fact, it’s a habit of our ancestors to show that we should know how to manage in hard conditions. And today, of course not everyone does the same, but we remember this whenever we eat white beans with meat and we sometimes ‘break’ an onion to eat with this dish and to remember this custom.
Etli Kuru Fasulye
- 2 cups white beans
- 250g lamb meat, pieces from lamb arm
- 1 ½ tbsp pepper or tomato paste
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black peppr
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Wash the white beans and soak them overnight. This will help them cook easier.
Put them in a pot the following day, add 1lt water in it. Boil the beans until tender.
Meanwhile put the lamb meat in a pot and cook it until tender (about 50 minutes). You don’t need to add water in it at the beginning, meat releases its water. Check if it gets tender enough when it absorbs all of its water. If it’s not soft enough, add a little water and boil it for about 15 minutes more.
Put olive oil ina pot and saute the diced onion until golden. Add pepper or tomato paste in it and mix them. Then add the boiled meat in it. If there is any water left in the pot you boil meat, add it too and stir. Now it’s time to add the boiled beans, pour it with its water in the pot and stir. It must be thicker than soup, so balance its water yourself. Season it with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. Let it boil for 20 minutes.
Pilaf is the favorite side dish for white beans with meat.
Ataturk’s Favorite Dish
White beans with meat was also the favorite dish of the founder of Turkish Republic, our leader of all time, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He adored this dish so much that he used to eat it even for days. He didn’t love eating much, but when he felt hungry, he just wanted this dish from his cooks. So the cooks in his home would cook it everyday and keep it prepared in the refrigerator. Even at some nights, when he got hungry, he would go to the kitchen and eat some beans without waiting his servants’ service.