Bean Stew

Kuru Fasulye

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

John and Berrin Scott, who produce the world’s best magazine, Cornucopia, took me into the Belgrade Forest to see the reservoirs built by Sinan to supply Istanbul with fresh water. On the way we pulled into a village in the hills where they had heard of a good place to eat. It was a sort of truck stop, and we ordered kurufasulye, as John and Berrin always do, looking for the very best. White beans, fasulye, are the base food of Turkey, its pasta or potato – what my mother referred to as the padding. In Italian, they are called fasoglio.


  • butter beans 500 g/1 lb, soaked and boiled
  • onion 1, chopped
  • glug of olive oil
  • garlic 3-4cloves, chopped
  • cumin seeds ½ tsp
  • aubergine 1 medium, diced
  • red pepper 1, finely sliced
  • isot biber 1 tsp
  • sugar ½ tbsp
  • salt and pepper
  • tomatoes 1 tin (400 g/14 oz)


  • Soak the beans overnight. Boil in fresh water until tender. Or use the pressure cooker.
  • Soften the onion in olive oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin and the aubergine, and fry until the aubergine is soft. Stir in the pepper, add the isot biber, the sugar and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and after a minute pour the tomatoes into the pan. Crush them up if they’re whole.
  • Simmer for twenty minutes, uncovered, then add the beans with a decent splash of the cooking water, and stir.
  • Simmer for another fifteen minutes to let the beans absorb the flavours, and serve with plain rice and the quick pickle.