I am addicted to peas. They might even be my favorite vegetable (though technically, they are a seed). The other day at the grocery store I asked my friend if it was excessive to buy a 5 pound bag of peas, to which she said yes and I said no.
My Turkish grandma (Babaanne) often used to make this very simple but satisfying pea recipe. Of all the Turkish dishes that she cooked, this is probably the one that I remember the most from my childhood. To me, this dish is the meaning of comfort – simple, healthy, warm and always made with love. I also like it because unlike lots of other dishes, the peas are the main component. I used frozen peas because it’s effectively still winter here, but this dish would be amazing if you can get your hands on some fresh sweet peas.
Babaanne’s Turkish Peas
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4-6
- One medium yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups frozen peas
- 1 medium potato
- 3-4 carrots
- ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
Add your olive oil to your large pot and bring to medium heat. Dice your onion and add, cook until the onions getting soft but do not brown them.
While the onions are cooking, remove your peas from the freezer and place in a bowl of warm water to help them unthaw.
Add your can of tomato paste to the onions, as well of two canfuls of water. Mix well and let bubble gently. Add your seasoning. Then add your peas.
Take your small pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Peel your potato, cut into chunks and add to the boiling water.
Let cook until they just start to get soft (a fork should go through them easily but they should not crumble). This will take only a few minutes so watch them carefully. Once they are cooked, add the potatoes to the peas but save the water because you will use it again in a minute.
Peel and dice your carrots, then add them to the water that you cooked the potatoes in. Boil them until they’re soft (about 5 min) then add to the peas and potatoes. If there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce for all the vegetables you can add a bit of the water that you cooked the vegetables in.
Mix well, bring to a gentle boil and serve with rice!