Almost Turkish Recipes

White Beans (Kuru Fasulye)

White beans with rice is the traditional Turkish dish. It is to us what pasta is to Italians. If you have pickled vegetables, especially cabbage, with it, you cannot expect more. There are variations of this recipe based on what kind of meat you want to use, or you may completely skip the meat part as I do. You can cook white beans with stew beef or lamb, with ground meat, pastrami (pastirma), and/or soujuk (sucuk, Turkish sausage). My favorite kuru fasülye is with pastrami.

Very traditioanl version of Turkish white beans would definitely have stew meat, beef or lamb, and would probably not have green pepper. Since I wanted to make a vegeterian dish, I replaced meat with peppers.

2 cups of cooked cannellini: white kidney: fazolia
even better dermason/whit beans(it's always tastier to use dried beans, but if you'll use canned beans do not forget to rinse them well) or 2 cans of those beans
3 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 onions, chopped
2 banana or red peppers, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced (If you want to use canned tomato, prefer petite diced one)
1-2 cup of water
1 tsp pepper flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
dried chili peppers (only if you like spicy food)

-Soak beans in water over night and then the next day, boil them until soft OR pressure cook dried beans for 35-40 minutes OR use canned beans.
-Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion and pepper until soft: 7-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir for another 2 minutes.
-Pour in first beans, then tomatoes, and then water until the water level is 1/2 inch above the beans. Add salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir once or twice very gently (do not forget the beans are tender now and we don't want to smash them). If you will use dried chili peppers, place them on top. Cover and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes.
-Serve with rice, especially on top of rice. Turkish style white beans are awesome with pickled vegetables like white cabbage, cornichons, carrots, etc.


  1. Sher, it sounds like you grew up with almost turkish food :)

    Where did you grow up?

  2. Anonymous9:00 AM

    What a nice recipe. I could eat rice and beans everyday, its my favorite dish.

  3. Burcu,

    White beans are my fav childhood dish. My mother used them to cook soup in winter.

    Love the look of the pickled vegies, too. I eat them often at the local Turkish shop. Oh my, dunno since when Turkish cuisine has become my kind of comfort food! :P

  4. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Oh, comfort food. I love the way the sauce looks on the rice. And that dried chillies on top... yes please!

    Lovely recipe, Burcu.

  5. Everything sounds great and traditional, except the banana, where did that come from. I am not sure i want to try it.

    1. Anonymous7:31 AM

      She said banana pepper! Haha, at first I also thought that she meant banana but read again slowly and you'll see that she means banana pepper. :)

  6. You forgot the fresh Italian parsley shopped and sprinkled over the top, eaten with pickled green semi hot chili peppers,, yum, I think i am going to make a huge pot now.
    You cant make a small pot. You're all invited, just bring a fork or spoon..

  7. Anonymous1:02 PM

    This is great. the only reason I took off a star is because dry beans (soaked overnight and rinsed) are very fickle. you cannot add a lot of things while cooking them, such as tomato paste,which has salt--the number one thing you cannot add until your beans are soft. I also increased tomato paste (after the beans were soft) to two heaping tablespoons. (That's how my mother-in-law rolls with the tomato paste so I do the same.)Other than that, I threw in a bullion cube out of habit (I always try to cook rice and beans with stock instead of water, and bullion is next best--usually also with salt content and so added after dried beans are cooked to the point of being pretty soft). And even though there's no garlic in this, I crushed up 3 to saute with the peppers and onion (also out of habit), which made the flavor a little richer (with no obvious garlic factor). One more thing is that red peppers (or similar veggies/peppers) take about an additional 5 minutes to saute (than onions), and so should be added about 5 minutes before the onions (the point being to cook them so the flavor is locked in). dry beans take about 45 minutes to cook (7-10 minutes with a pressure cooker that works); just another thing to keep in mind.

    1. Anonymous7:30 AM

      Worked fine for me though. Sounds like you changed the whole recipe to your liking before you tried out the traditional Turkish recipe. ;)

  8. Anonymous1:53 PM

    You need a print recipe button since you don't allow to copy and paste to a word doc. :(

  9. Anonymous3:01 PM

    not banana, banana PEPPER.

    1. It says banana, not bananas, because it is used as an adjective.

    2. You are absolutely right, don't pay any attention to that person, you recipe is perfect. I am American and just married a Turkish guy. I am using your page to learn how to make his cuisine :-) thank you so much! Do you have a recipe for the pickled cabbage? xoxox

  10. I got confused (never heard of a 'banana pepper', maybe an American term?), but then I read this, but then just for jokes I decided to add two chopped bananas anyway. Worked out OK actually.

  11. Ozlediiiim yaaa! My host mom used to make this all the time, it was my second favorite dish after mercimek corbasi. She thought I was so odd for loving this so much, but it's just so perfect and complete as a dish! I can't wait to try this, i just have to find salca and the right kind of beans! Thank you for this recipe!!!

  12. I am Turkish and there is no way I would let 2 weeks pass by without me making a pot of Kuru Fasulye. I eat for dinner then take the left over to work for lunch. Definitely best with dry Turkish Dermason Beans. Difference is like English vs Chinese, that different. I can't live without this dish, life simply is not worth to live.

  13. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Turkish green peppers only!!