Fethiye farmers grow a wide range of beans and pulses.
But did you know that pulses are one of the most ancient and global foods and this is only one of the reason why 2016 is the United Nations Year of Pulses?
Pulses are also one of the most popular ingredients in Turkey’s traditional dishes.
What’s more, all kinds of pulses are grown in the fields around Fethiye.
Pulses are incredibly versatile, tasty and good for you; not only that, growing them is good for the soil as well.
Many of Fethiye’s traditional dishes have beans and pulses as their focus; until recently meat used to be just for special occasions.
So, if you are looking for new and delicious ways to eat economically and healthily, look no further than the humble dried bean, chickpea, or lentil.
Something maybe you didn’t know; ground nuts (peanuts) are grown in this part of Turkey, and these are pulses too.
Tasty and healthy
Fethiye farmers grow a wide range of beans and pulses, which are not only a great and incredibly inexpensive source of protein they provide plenty of iron too. They are also full of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Lentil soup / mercimek çorbası
Everyone has their own special recipe for mercimek çorbasi – lentil soup – often handed down across generations, but this one is the one we frequently use, courtesy of Peter Sommers Travels.
Chickpeas / nohutlı yemeği
A chickpea stew that can be served hot, warm or cold, this recipe from Almost Turkish, is similar to one of our favourites. If you are a devoted carnivore trying adding some lamb or beef.
Turkish baked beans / kuru fasulye
No story about pulse recipes would be complete without a recipe for Turkish beans. This is one we like, once again it’s from Almost Turkish.
Bean salad / Piyaz
For anyone who has driven from Fethiye to Antalya some of the best plates of piyaz can be found in the mountain town of Korkutelli.
If that’s not an option try this version courtesy of Yasemin’s Kitchen. She gives two recipes one with tahin (sesame paste) and one without.
Borlotti beans with olive oil / Zeytinyağlı Barbunya
These large, tasty beans make a great meal and can be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature. Thanks to Ozlem’s Table for this delicious recipe.
A quiet word about a loud problem
Some people are nervous about eating beans and pulses, for rather personal but occasionally a very public reason.
This will not be a problem if dry beans are well soaked and rinsed before cooking. This is because beans contain some indigestible carbohydrate. Soaking and rinsing dry beans before cooking, as well as rinsing canned beans in water, can help to reduce these hard to digest carbohydrates and their embarrassing result.
Foods affect people differently and with time the symptoms often associated with pulses reduce.
We say, just eat and be happy.
Half an hour well spent
If you want to learn more about pulses, take time out to listen to the most recent episode of the BBC radio 4’s, The Food Programme. It’s really interesting.
Also there is an excellent website all about pulses: pulses.org