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Kuru Fasulye Recipe (Turkish Beans)

Turkish bean stew in a dark colored bowl and a spoon inside it.

4.8 from 5 reviews

Kuru fasulye is a comforting and flavorful Turkish bean stew made with white beans, tender meat, and aromatic spices. This Turkish dish can be enjoyed with various meats or as a vegetarian option. Traditionally served with Turkish rice or bulgur pilav, kuru fasulye makes for a satisfying and wholesome meal that can be easily prepared and customized to suit your taste preferences.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups (400 grams) dried white beans (cannelini beans or navy beans)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 grams (14 ounces) diced beef
  • 57 grams (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper paste (see the note 5 below)
  • 1 tomato, 1/4 cup diced
  • 1/4 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

Soaking the Beans

  1. Thoroughly rinse the white beans.
  2. Place the rinsed beans in a large pot or bowl.
  3. Cover the beans with a generous amount of water (we use 8 cups) and allow them to soak for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight. This process helps the beans cook faster.

Cooking the Beans

  1. Drain and set aside the soaked beans, discarding the water used for soaking.
  2. In a large pot, add the beans and cover them with 4 cups of room temperature water. Bring to a boil without a lid.
  3. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender, which should take about 35-40 minutes. Start checking at 30 minutes as cooking times can vary based on bean type.
  4. Skim off any foam from the surface once or twice during cooking.

Cooking the Meat

  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add diced beef and cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until it releases its juices.
  3. Stir well, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer on medium-low for approximately 20 minutes, ensuring there's enough juice in the pan. If dry, add 1/4 cup of water and continue to cook covered for an additional 20-25 minutes until tender. Regularly check and add water if needed.
  4. Note: If using lamb, cooking time is typically shorter, around 30 minutes.

Assembling the Stew

  1. When the meat is tender, add butter to the pot, stirring until melted.
  2. Add diced onion, cover, and cook on medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in tomato paste and red pepper paste, cooking for 2-3 minutes with constant stirring.
  4. Introduce diced pepper and tomato, stir well, and cook covered for 3 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pot, stirring thoroughly.
  6. Incorporate the cooked beans along with their cooking water and all spices, stirring well.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Allow the stew to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve with Turkish rice or bulgur pilav and cacik.

Notes

  1. After soaking the beans, throw out the water. Cook them in fresh water. Otherwise, your stew won't taste good and the beans will cause gas.
  2. Don't skip removing the foams from the surface of the beans while cooking. 
  3. If the meat gets dry when cooking, add a little water and keep cooking until tender.
  4. Keep in mind that lamb cooks faster than meat.
  5. Red pepper paste adds great flavor, but it might be hard to find. The popular Turkish brand "Öncü" is available internationally. Look in Middle Eastern stores or on Amazon. If unavailable, simply use the same amount of tomato paste instead. 
  6. Storing: Cool stew, put in airtight containers, keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. To store in the freezer, cool the stew, divide into portions in freezer bags, and freeze up to 2-3 months.
  7. Reheating: Heat on stove or microwave until warm. To reheat from the freezer, thaw in the fridge or microwave, then reheat as above.

Nutrition

Keywords: kuru fasulye, Turkish beans