Update: I’d wanted to cook this Aubergine and Red Kidney Beans for a while to be able to take more photos as I just didn’t get photos before where the stew looked appetising. At last I’ve managed to! This simple dish really would be great with a spicy lamb burger, kebab or stew. As yet I can only buy a four portion pack of minced/ground lamb here. So, in the meantime I’ll do some research, probably along the lines of a Middle Eastern recipe.
Before, on Kitschnflavours: This recipe was inspired by a photo on Flickr, that I forgot to grab the link for (I’ve since found it again, click here. Anna-Mavritta’s beautiful blog is in Russian). Their recipe was a Turkish dish called, Karin Yarik, which seems to be served all over Turkey. I don’t remember seeing it in cafés that I went to in Istanbul and Edirne. Anyway, the recipe sounds delicious. And will definitely try it during autumn when, with cold nights, it’s comforting to have food roasting in the oven, keeping the flat warm and wonderful food smells permeating the air. This isn’t even based on the original, which is linked here. Instead, I couldn’t resist grabbing another aubergine/eggplant as they’re half price again. Pleased to say this turned out really well for me, earthy with just a hint of spice. There are very few ingredients as I wanted to keep the flavours simple, imitating the original. In fact, that recipe has even fewer. I was hoping to cook this with minced/ground beef, but I couldn’t get a pack for less than 4 portions – way too much meat for me. I’m glad I didn’t as this is perfect as a side dish for either beef or lamb. I’ll wait until I try the Karin Yarik recipe to include minced beef.
When I was in Turkey four years ago during August it was way too hot. Sweltering so, with actual temperatures of 43°C (109.4°F) most days. And, to suggest Istanbul is chaos is an understatement. I’ve never been to a city that busy, and I lived in central London, UK for over two decades. The only time London is as chaotic would be Christmas Eve, with people panic-buying presents. Nothing else compares. Unfortunately, I didn’t even visit most of the more important tourist attractions as queues were incredible in that intense heat. Nope, I found cafés in the shade instead.
Aubergine and Red Kidney Beans
- olive oil
- 1 x medium aubergine/eggplant, washed, cut in half, then cut into strips lengthways, then sliced crossways into chunks. Add them to a large suitable container, grind sea salt (about 10 grinds) and cover with cold water. Place a lid or weight to submerge them completely and soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour
- 2 x medium onions, about 280g (9.88 oz), peeled and chopped
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped in half
- 2 x medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or minced/crushed
- 2 x large salad tomatoes, washed and sliced in half OR 1 x beefsteak tomato, about 280g (9.87 oz), washed, cored and cut into 4 chunks
- 1 – 2 x tablespoons tomato purée, use 1 to begin with and add more to personal taste
- scant 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to personal taste
- 1/4 x teaspoon smoked sweet paprika, more to personal taste
- 1 x 400g or 240g drained weight (14.11 oz or 8.46 oz drained) can red kidney beans, well rinsed
- 1 x heaped teaspoon dried parsley OR 1/2 x tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, or to personal taste
- 1/2 x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube
- 200ml (0.422 US pt lqd) x water
- 1 x heaped teaspoon vegetable purée (salsa di pomodoro con verdure) – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6). When onions are ready and the pan is hot pour in enough oil to cover its base. Add the bay leaf and allow to infuse for 30 seconds. Add the onions and stir frequently. When they start to turn a pale golden reduce heat to No 2. When turning golden reduce heat to No 1. Push the onions to the sides, pour in a glug more oil and add the garlic. Allow several minutes for the garlic to cook. Before transferring this mixture to a suitable bowl sprinkle over the cayenne and allow to infuse without scorching.
- Add the tomatoes to a separate pan with a little oil and a lid. Put on heat No 2 for most of their cooking time. Remove the lid after about 15 minutes and continue to pan-fry until nicely caramelised. When ready to add them to the aubergine mixture pour them into a fine wire metal sieve and using a stainless steel soup ladle rub them through, collecting all of the purée from underneath with a wooden spoon. Discard the remaining pulp.
- After draining and rinsing the aubergine pieces squeeze out as much excess water as possible. I did this with my hands rather than using a very clean t-towel (one that has been boiled). Using a large heavy-based saucepan or pan/skillet put on heat No 3. When pan is hot add a little oil and add the aubergine. Shake the pan vigorously, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Continue to cook until nicely golden all over, reducing heat when necessary to No 1. When they are softening push them to the sides sprinkle over the cayenne pepper and stir through. Take off heat if necessary, as the cayenne must not scorch.
- Pour in a glug more oil if necessary after pushing the aubergine to the sides and add the kidney beans. Up the heat again to No 2 and allow them to heat through.
- Prep the stock in a separate saucepan, including the vegetable purée if using. Before adding the stock to the aubergine mixture add the tomato purée and allow about 30 seconds for its rawness to cook out. Do not allow it to get scorched as it can taste bitter. Pour in the stock to the aubergine and stir through.
- Combine the aubergine and kidney beans with the onion mixture, and put on heat No 3. When near boiling point reduce heat to No 2 and add a lid. Allow to simmer until aubergine is absolutely soft when tested, and to reduce the sauce to the desired consistency simply take off the lid. Sprinkle over the dried or fresh parsley and stir through.
- Serve with boiled long grain rice.
Below is the only photo of Turkey that I have on my photostream within Flickr.
Istanbul, Turkey (İstanbul, Türkiye)
The Blue Mosque, The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) – built between 1609 and 1616.
Photo taken within one of the courtyards.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
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