In Turkey, Navy Beans Have National Status

Wednesday October 31, 2012

By Elizabeth Taviloglu, Guide for Turkish Food

Getting into fall and winter, it's my favorite time to eat beans. I'm happy to be in Turkey this time of year because of all the great bean dishes in Turkish cuisine.

In fact, one of my favorite hot bean dishes is actually considered Turkey's national dish by most folks on the street. That is navy bean stew. It's nothing fancy and that's what makes it so good.

Navy bean stew, either with meat or meatless, served over some white rice pilaf and bowl of uber-sour Turkish pickles is not only one of the most modest, it's also one of the most satisfying meals I know.

In Turkish, it's called "kuru fasulye" (koo-ROO' fah-SOOL'-yeah), meaning simply "dry beans." Venture into any restaurant and simply ask for some "dry beans" and you'll get all of the above served up in big portions for a very economical price.

I can see why it's a national favorite, loved by all, rich and poor alike. Every home cook also makes navy beans and rice, especially those who have a lot to feed or are making the most of their budgets.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's made with very simple and economical ingredients and a pot of stew can last for days.

The best navy beans in Turkey come from Ispir, a town near the northeastern city of Erzurum. But any good quality navy beans will do. Take a look in the dry goods or Latin foods sections of your supermarket.

Turkish Pinto Beans in Olive Oil

Romano Beans in Olive Oil

Turkish Main Dishes

Turkish Regional Cuisine

Photo © Kybele -


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