Thursday, 2 June 2011

Artichokes with Broad Beans: a Typically Turkish Dish

 enginar in lemon water to stop them from discolouring: they are sold like this

beautiful and white: washed at home and in more lemon water
Artichokes are at their height right now in Istanbul and honestly they are irresistible. We are inundated with broad beans or bakla  too so it is no surprise that the enginarcı  or artichoke seller will often have a stash of them pre-podded on his stall to encourage the cook to prepare them together.
Prices vary according to size, thus ranging from 1.75TL to 3TL each (£1=2.50TL). The market ones are the cheapest. My previous enginar recipe way back in March at the beginning of the season was for the classic zeytinyağlı or olive oil version with carrot and potato. This is by far the most common way of preparing them but this recipe makes a change and should be made now while the bakla are at their freshest.
market seller with her pile of bakla

I asked my enginarcı  of twenty years this morning how much longer the season was going to last and he replied laconically, ‘Daha var’ ie there’s more to go! Good news as far as I am concerned!

So here is the recipe for Baklalı Enginar or Artichokes with Broad Beans
 from Alev Kaman’s Modern Türk Mutfağı:
Serves 6
6 artichoke hearts
250g fresh broad beans/bakla
2 onions
4 lumps of sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups cold water
¼ cup olive oil
2 desssert spoons flour (not very heaped)
1 heaped dessert spoon chopped dill/dereotu plus a little more to decorate
 1 tsp salt
·         Wash the artichokes carefully and put them in a bowl with the 3 cups of cold water and lemon juice.
·         Remove the broad beans from their outer pod. If necessary , remove the outer skin*.

the podding process

·         Chop the onions.
·         Gently heat the olive oil in the pan and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix it in and stir till blended. Add the artichokes with their water, followed by the onion, salt, and sugar. Add the chopped dill, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.

the two stages of cooking

·         Then add the prepared broad beans and cook for a further 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan before serving. Decorate with more fresh dill if desired. You can either serve them on individual plates as a starter or place all of them on a large serving dish.

  1. *Sprinkle a coffee spoon of salt over the beans and rub it in, then wait 10 minutes. The idea is that the skins should come off more easily. Only do this if the skins appear tough. However you will find that some people are a bit fussy about this!
  2. I only had pink onions but as you can see, it didn’t make any difference!
  3. This is a stylish dish to offer guests: the bright green of the beans is very appealing. If you have Turkish friends and they invite you round, it is almost a dead cert that they will serve this at this time of year!

Afiyet olsun!


I was recently invited by this delightful group of ladies in Arnavutköy to speak about my blog!

Thank you all! I enjoyed it thoroughly!