Almost Turkish Recipes

White Beans with Pastrami (Pastırmalı Kuru Fasulye)

What we call pastrami in Turkey is completely different from the lunch meat pastrami that you can find at the stores here. At Sahara Mart, I found this pastrami which was, to my surprise, a product of USA--not imported from Middle East. It looked like Turkish pastrami; however, it was way less spicy and as a result way less flavorsome and stinky.

2 cups of cannellini: white kidney: fazolia beans or 2 cans of those beans
10 pastrami strips (I used 10, but you can use less or more)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2-3 banana peppers, chopped
1 tbsp pepper or tomato paste, or half & half
2 tomatoes, diced or 1 can of petite diced tomato
2 tbsp butter or 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1/2 tsp dried mint flakes
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
2 cups of water

-Heat the oil in a big pot and stir in the onions and garlic cloves. Cook until onions are soft
-Stir in peppers and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the paste, cook for another 2 minutes
-Add tomatoes, oregano, crushed pepper, mint flakes, and salt. Stir for 4-5 minutes
-Stir in the beans (I used dry beans. I didn't have time to soak them over night, so I pressure cooked them for 30 minutes. Either soak them over night and then cook them in water until they're soft, or use canned beans) and water. Bring to a boil.
-Tear the pastrami strips in to bite-size pieces. Place them on top of beans with dried hot peppers.
-Seal the pot with aluminum foil and cover. Cook on low for an hour.


  1. Oooh I just made this recipe and it was delicious! I was at the international store and saw the 'pastrami' (there it was called Halal Bastirma) and once I tasted it and liked it I picked up a quarter of a pound. Now I will serve it regularly--it has such a nice flavor.

    I made a couple of substitutions:
    1) I used navy beans instead of cannellini, since that was what I had on hand (soaked and pressure cooked 'em). It turned out tasty but would be better with the bigger beans.
    2) I didn't have any mint, so I used marjoram instead. I also decreased the oregano since I didn't want it to seem too much like pasta sauce in the absence of mint.

    Overall, served with some warm, crusty bread and butter, this made a very tasty meal. Thanks for your recipes!

  2. Anonymous3:40 AM

    I made this last night and it was a nice, simple hearty wintry dish. I loved the rich spiciness of it, and found that the oregano and mint worked really well with the onion-chili-tomato sauce. Thanks!