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This is How We Stew It...

Making the Turkish Stew Türlü

photo credit: WMF Turkiye

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how to stretch our food as we cook more meals at home and take fewer trips to the markets. Stews appeared often at our dining tables this year and these versatile dishes can be made and used in multiple ways.

Stews are an assortment of food slow-cooked in liquid in a container with a lid. Almost every culture has its own version and they have several advantages: Less tender cuts of meats can be made delicious with long, slow cooking times. More expensive ingredients which may be available in small amounts can be stretched by adding less expensive foods. One-pot cooking also conserves fuel and makes cleanup easier. The combinations of proteins and carbohydrates in stews make them filling and nutritious, and they can also be used in other dishes such as fillings for pies and casseroles.

A popular Turkish stew is türlü which means mixed vegetables or hodge-podge. You can mix up the vegetables based on what is in season and even add meat. Here is the basis for a classic recipe.

You can use this as a base for any vegetables, in any season, and add a protein to bulk it up.


4 medium eggplants, cubed

6-7 green peppers, diced

1 large potato, cubed

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 Tbsp of tomato paste

1 Tbsp red pepper paste

1/2 cup (125 ml) of oil

Boiled water, salt

1. Finely chop the onion and fry them in oil on medium heat until they are translucent.

Add the tomato paste, red pepper paste, and the cubed eggplant and close the lid of the pan until the eggplant is lightly browned.

2. Add the diced peppers, cubed potatoes, and diced tomatoes. Cook them on low heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed.

3. Add enough water to cover the vegetables, add salt to taste, and cook on medium-low heat until the vegetables are fork-tender.

The stew can be eaten plain, or served with a starch such as bulgur, rice or quinoa.

Afiyet Olsun!

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