Cypriot Vegetable Stew – otherwise known as Turlu
Following on from the gorgeous olive garlic halloumi spelt bread I made a couple of weeks ago, I now bring you my version of another Cypriot recipe, Turlu. It’s a kind of vegetable stew from the Turkish side of Cyprus. It’s very tasty and the aforementioned bread makes a perfect accompaniment.
As a big fan of Middle Eastern food, this is the sort of thing I tend to throw together without thinking too much about it. However, on this occasion I used this recipe as my starting point and followed the advice to make a separate tomato sauce before adding it to the gently fried vegetables. With our runner beans going nuts down at the plot, I also added a fair few of those, but cooked them separately to the other vegetables.
Having grown up in tin and copper country here in Cornwall, one day I hope to make it to the Copper Isle and sample some authentic Cypriot cuisine. Maybe we can swap a few recipes. I’m sure I could twist CT’s arm with the promise of some impromptu botanising – the spring flowers would make a great tonic after the grey days of winter.
As expected, this dish was delicious and satisfied both my Mediterranean heritage and CT’s fondness for a good stew.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion - sliced
- 1 large courgette - chopped
- 1 red pepper - deseeded and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper - deseeded and chopped
- 1 large handful of beet tops or chard (including stalks) - roughly chopped
- 2 large handfuls of tender runner beans - topped, tailed and chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- 8 medium sized ripe tomatoes - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli - deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 100ml tomato passata
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- a good grinding of black pepper
- ⅛ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- small bunch of parsley - finely chopped
- Gently fry the onions in a large pan with 2 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes, then add the peppers and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the courgettes, stir and fry for another minute or two. Add the beet tops, stir and cover the pan allowing the veg to cook gently for ten minutes or so.
- Simmer the beans in a little salted water until tender, then add to the pan of vegetables.
- Gently fry the tomatoes, garlic and chilli in the remaining olive oil. Add the passata, spices, salt and thyme and allow to simmer with the lid off for a few minutes.
- Stir the tomato sauce into the vegetables, cover and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir in the parsley reserving a little to scatter over the top.
I’m sending this off to Corina over at Searching for Spice for a new to me challenge, Cook Once Eat Twice. This stew, as is often the case with this sort of food, was even better the next day and meant we had a nice easy meal all ready made.
Other Cypriot dishes you might like
- Fasulye with dukkah roasted tofu via Tin and Thyme
- Fried halloumi salad with baked pomegranate grapes via Fuss Free Flavours
- Spanakopita via Emily’s Recipes and Reviews
- Turkish zucchini fritters via Tinned Tomatoes