How to make beans plaki

Flavours of home is a series of recipes from around the world cooked by people at home in Otago. This week Murat Genc from Turkey shows us how to make beans plaki.

This is a popular cold dish in Turkey - where it is known as Zeytinyagli fasulye plakisi - and easy to make, although it takes a little while to cook.

Dr Genc enjoyed it so much as a child that he'd always have a dish of beans plaki when he came home, if his mother or aunt had made some. He says whenever he makes it now, people love it.

Beans plaki is a popular cold dish in Turkey. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Beans plaki is a popular cold dish in Turkey. Photo by Craig Baxter.

Beans plaki

For six servings
3 cups pinto beans
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp finest virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely sliced
6 large garlic cloves, each cut into 4-6 long thin slivers
2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and then cut in cm slices
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped and mashed, or 1 cups canned tomatoes with juice
2 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp sugar
hot water
1 cup
chopped parsley
chopped parsley and lemon wedges or slices for garnish

Start the day before by soaking the beans in plenty of water overnight. Place in a pan with fresh cold water to cover; boil, covered, for 20 minutes and drain.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Cook the onions, garlic, and carrot for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes and cook three more minutes.

Add two cups hot water, salt, paprika, and sugar; bring to boil and stir in the beans, Simmer, covered, for 1 hours or longer.

Add small quantities of hot water to maintain the water level if needed. When the beans are tender, remove from heat.

Transfer to a large serving dish, chill for several hours. Serve sprinkled with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.{C}{C}{C}


• In Turkey beans plaki is usually served after the main meat dish or as a side dish but it also makes a fine appetiser.
• Other beans can be used such as white beans, butter beans.
• Don't forget the lemon wedges - these are important.




Murat Genc grew up in Istanbul and came to Dunedin in 1989 to lecture at the University of Otago.


He intended to stay only two years but he liked it so much he is still here, he says.



- Thanks to Afife Harris and Leith Distributors.


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