Turkish Beans

Turkish beans

I apologize for being missing in action for a while. Life has gotten busy (read: midterms) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking, I just haven’t been writing. There is always time to cook, no matter how crazy life gets.

Being half Turkish, we eat a lot of Turkish food at my house. One of my all time favorite dishes is Turkish “dry beans” or “Kuru Fasulye.” I know that I don’t make the most traditional version, where you actually use some beef to create the base flavor, but I’d like to think that my easy and I’m-in-college-and-dont-have-time version is pretty good. It’s amazing served with rice and is the perfect comfort food, especially in the midst of exams and paper writing. Even better it’s so easy to make and will impress your friends!

Turkish Beans

Serves 4-6 (with leftovers if you use 3 cans of beans)


  • 2 medium or 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)*
  • 1-2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • ½ tbsp Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes (if desired)
  • ** OPTIONAL** adding some cumin to taste (maybe 1/4 tsp) really creates the traditional flavor, add it if you have it.
*Traditionally this dish is made with kidney beans. I didn’t have any so I used chickpeas instead, which I like just as much. I’ll leave what you use up to you.


  • You can substitute cannellini beans or the traditional kidney beans in for garbanzo beans
  • Fresh parsley is actually much better than dried but I never have it around. If you do, used up to half a bunch, chopped up
  • Bullion cubes can substitute for Better Than Bullion. This is not an essential ingredient so if you don’t have it don’t stress. If you don’t use it you’ll have to supplement with extra salt.
  • If you don’t have potatoes, don’t let that stop you. Carrots are more essential

Add 4-5 tbsp olive oil to your large pot and put on low heat. This is more oil than I would normally recommend but in this case it adds essential flavor to the dish. Dice your onions and add to the pot. Cook so that they are soft but do not caramelize! Meanwhile fill your medium pot with about 4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Peel your carrots and potatoes and cut into small chunks. Add potatoes to boiling water first and let cook for about 5 minutes. Once they start to get soft, add the carrots and let cook for another 4 minutes or so, then turn off the water and let sit.

Once onions are cooked, open one can of tomato paste and add to onions. Mix well and watch carefully. You want to let it cook but keep scrapping the bottom of the pan so that it doesn’t burn. After about 6-8 minutes the paste should be cooked.

Boil your carrots and potatoes while cooking the tomato paste and onions

Fill one canful of water and add to pot. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the carrots and potatoes (save the water they were cooking in). Add some of the cooking water so that the vegetables are covered. Let cook for a few more minutes until soft.

Add veggies to the tomato paste

Open 3 cans of beans, rinse in strainer to get off juice from can.

Rinse your beans

Add to the sauce. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste, bouillon and red pepper flakes if desired (add sparingly, they will get hotter as they cook down) and cumin, if available. Add more water if needed so that beans are covered in liquid.

Add your beans and let simmer!

Bring to a simmer then turn heat off. If you can let it sit for a few hours before serving to soak up flavor that’s best

When ready to eat, turn on heat to medium low and bring to a simmer. Serve with white or brown rice (white rice will take about 15 minutes to cook, brown about 45)

One thought on “Turkish Beans

  1. Pingback: Mucver (Turkish Zucchini Fritters) | Toy Kitchen Chef

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