Why not make the most of Global Pulse Day by enjoying a bowl of Turkey’s famous lentil soup or bean stew?
Today – 18th January – is Global Pulse Day and we are celebrating with an overview of some of Turkey’s simple but delicious pulse dishes.
Anyone who visits Turkey and explores beyond the hotels and beaches will soon realise that lentils, chickpeas and all kinds of beans are key ingredients in much of Turkey’s traditional cuisine.
Since time immemorial, Anatolian kitchens have been home to bubbling pots and pans, full of the most tasty pulse dishes imaginable. Accompanied by a chunk of bread to mop up the juices, filling and healthy pulses are still an important part of the Anatolian diet for many families – and it is one we can’t recommend highly enough.
Known as bakliyat in Turkish, pulses are thought to have first been grown as a crop in the Fertile Crescent – Mesopotamia. This land, between the Euphrates and the Tigris, is where humans first began to farm, as far back as 11,000 years ago.
Chickpeas: slow cooked with plenty of onions, garlic tomatoes and herbs, there isn’t anything more satisfying than a bowl of chickpea stew. What’s more, chickpeas are still grown in and around Fethiye, so look out for fresh ones later this year.
Chickpeas on the move
Leblebi, which can be bought in Kuruyemış shops, are roasted chickpeas. Some are plain, others flavoured or salted. However and whenever you choose to munch on a handful of leblebi, they make a wholesome and moreish snack.
Chickpeas for pudding?
Aşure (Ashure), sometimes known as Mrs Noah’s pudding, is a kind of sweet soup. One of the main ingredients is the humble chickpea. Click here for more information.
A versatile pulse
Lentils: in Turkey, this nourishing pulse comes in several different colours: red, yellow, green and brown. Served as a tempting bowl of soup or a plate of meat-free spicy köfte (best eaten wrapped up in a lettuce leaf), are two Turkish dishes made with red lentils that certainly shouldn’t be missed. Green lentils are good for soup too but also make a fantastic salad.
Beans, beans… good for your heart
Wherever you are in the world today, enjoying one (or more) plates of these dishes will be a great way to celebrate not only Global Pulse Day but also wonderful Turkish cuisine.