Monday, 14 February 2011

Baked Beans - Turkish Style

I love Baked Beans.  We ate it alot when I was little and it was one of the only things I could give my oldest son to fill him up when he was starving.  After coming to Turkey I was introduced to a local bean dish from the Adana region.  It was nice even though I was dubious as it was kind of watery with beans and a few meat pieces floating in it.  My MIL made this and we ate it but I always thought that there has to be a way to make it a bit more eater friendly.  I started making this as per instructions given to me by my MIL but over the weeks I slowly made a few changes not realising of course that the bean dishes kind of vary within the regions of  Turkey.  Being a Heinz Baked Bean fan I tried to recreate the same thickness and texture I was so familiar with.  I am happy to say I have perfected my baked bean recipe and converted my Turkish husband over to my side.  With all my recipes there is room for various expressions depending on my mood or what I have in the fridge and cupboards. I will give you a list of my favorite variations.

Chili - Sweet paprika, chili flakes, minced green sweet chilies.  Fry onion then add the sweet chilies and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add to bean mix then add in the paprika and chili flakes.

Sausage - Turkish Sucuk (you could use any spicy sausage) and fried onions.  Cook the sausage with the onions then add to the beans.

Meat - Using a meat stock and adding in about 150 grams of cubed beef or lamb.  Fry the meat with the onion then add to the beans.

Veggie - Grated carrots(1 cup added just after frying onions then add the tomatoes then fry for a couple of more minutes), fried onions, garlic and a couple of tomatoes.

Cheese - Crumbled fetta and sliced black olives (stirred through just before serving)

Herbal - One large bunch of finely minced parsley and bit of basil if in season.  Add the  parsley to the onions and cook for a minute then add.

250grams dried white beans, soaked overnight then cooked (you can use canned/tinned)
salt and pepper to taste
garlic to taste if desired
1 or 2 chopped onions(I don't always add as my younger children wont eat them)
2 or 3 tbs pepper or tomato paste

If you don't want to use oil (I try to use as little oil as possible) you don't have to fry the onion and garlic just add everything in together and cook.

Fry the onion and garlic until clear add the pepper paste, stir through and cook for another minute then add a glass or two of water and add to the cooked beans.    Add in the salt and pepper.  Taste.  Add enough water to cover the beans and about 2 centimetres more.  Cook for about 40 minutes until thick.

There are thousands and thousands of local restaurants all serving delicious and cheap meals.  This bean dish is one of the staples of these eateries.  I found this great photo of the baked beans and also of one these local restaurants showing the daily offerings that are typical in Turkey.

Click here Durak Lokantası

Don't forget for all those bean phobes out there that they say if you cook the beans in separate water then drain to make the dish it wont cause any flatulence.  Did you know that their are more bean related deaths per year than death by shark attack!  There are an average of 423 beans in a 400gr tin.  The variety of bean Heinz uses is the Haricot.  So readers what bit of food trivia will you share with the rest of us?
Baked Beans - Turkish Style on Foodista


  1. I make baked beans too, but I make mine American style with smokey flavours and bacon.

  2. Its a bit hard to find bacon here so have to go AlaTurka and mix through some fetta and olives.

  3. I had my first plate of turkish beans for lunch during my last trip, and it was simple but tasty. I'm going to try the veggie variation - it sounds good.