Friday, 22 March 2013

Turkish Food Focus: A Recipe Using Young Bakla - Sucuk & Broad Beans




A couple of weeks back, we visited Çiftlik Perşembe Pazarı (Ciftlik Thursday Market) and noticed the first young bakla (broad beans) of the season. In our Guide to Çiftlik market post, we mentioned we had sucuk and bakla for dinner that night and it prompted a comment from Turkish food blogger Zerrin (of Give Recipe) that she had also bought bakla from her local pazar that day, too. She explained what she was making with her bakla and then she said she had never thought to use bakla and sucuk together.
Seasonal Food In Turkey - Bakla or Broad Beans
Bakla (broad beans) on Çiftlik Market
A quick search around online and it appears the good folks of Turkey aren't much into mixing their sucuk and bakla at all. Interesting! As soon as we saw the bakla on Çiftlik market, we both said sucuk straight away. And we know why.

A (Nearly) Turkish Recipe For Sucuklu Bakla

Sucuk is Turkey's answer to Spanish chorizo or Italian pepperoni, except, where the latter two are made from pork, sucuk is made up from beef. The tastes and textures are very similar; cured, garlicky, sometimes spicy and definitely oily! And, as we learned from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall TV programmes in years gone by, chorizo partners with fresh broad beans perfectly. If that's the case, why not sucuk?

This recipe combines that idea with Turkish zeytinyağlı (olive oil) dishes such as zeytinyağlı yeşil fasulye and barbunya pilaki.  

Preparing Bakla, Broad Beans
Podded and sliced bakla
Because the bakla is really young at the moment, it's completely fine to cook the beans in their pods.
  • Pick through your bakla and pod the bigger bean pods. 
  • With the young pods, give them a wash, cut off and discard the ends and then cut them into (roughly) inch-long pieces.
Cooking Bakla & Sucuk
An easy one-pan dish
  • Heat a good glug of olive oil in a frying pan (not too much as your sucuk will be oily, too).
  • Now peel and cut one onion in half. Slice it into half moons and add to the frying pan. Turn down the heat and allow the onion to sweat gently.
  • Take around 100g of sucuk, remove the outer skin and quarter the sucuk lengthways so you have four long pieces. Cut each of the four pieces into bite-sized chunks and add to the pan. Stir around until the sucuk starts to colour and release its oils (this only takes a couple of minutes).
  • Now add two large, chopped tomatoes, a crushed clove of garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Allow your tomatoes to cook down for a few minutes and then add half a mug of hot water. Stir and add your bakla.
Bakla With Sucuk
Bakla and sucuk
How much water you add to the pan depends on how much juice you want in this meal. The photo above shows how much water we added.
  • Add a quick splash of vinegar, a half teaspoonful of sugar and a sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional).
  • Now stir the mixture, cover your pan and reduce the heat so that your sucuklu bakla simmers gently.
  • After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and serve.
Turkish Recipe - Sucuklu Bakla
Sucuklu Bakla
Serve your sucuklu bakla with warm, crusty bread so you can soak up the juices. As we said, we failed to find a Turkish dish that mixed these two main ingredients so the name sucuklu bakla (sucuk with broadbeans) is our own. Imaginative, isn't it?

Afiyet Olsun


9 comments:

I loved this creative combo!! You are right, we are conservative with the use of sucuk in dishes, and I like these experiements = the bakla, onions, tomato with sucuk sounds like a lovely combo, I am up for it! I used sauteed sucuk in my veg soup, and a little bit of sucuk is really exciting in vegetable based dishes - elinize saglik :) Ozlem

Fab idea! Sucuk is always my answer for Italian/Polish sausage and I've used in gumbo, Boston baked beans and more. Delish!

This sounds like a great alternative to our zeytinyağlı bakla! Although it's not a part of our cuisine to combine fava beans with any kind of meat, I'm quite intrigued! Love the addition of vinegar and garlic, sounds so flavorful and tasty this way! A great combinations of cuisines! Will definitely give it a try! And thank you for mentioning me and my blog in your post!

@ Zerrin: Yes, interesting that meat isn't used with bakla. We've haven't got a problem with fusion foods - just as long as people don't forget the original. Oh, and you're welcome, re the mention. :)

@ Ozlem's Turkish Table: Ha ha, glad you'e happy with the combo. Our problem is, we just love sucuk so why not experiment with it more. :) YES, we remember your veg soup with sucuk. Might have to make reference to that in our defence. :)

@ Joy: Glad you've made use of the versatility of sucuk, too! :) You'll be able to use the real thing for your Polish sausage dishes, soon. :)

That sounds delicious. Another one for the "to try" list.

That sounds delicious. Another one for the "to try" list.

I like the idea, but I'll never sell it to the Turk in my house. Bakla and sucuk on the same plate !!! Horror.

@ Milorni: Well, we think it really goes well, the bakla and sucuk. Let us know what you think if you try it. :)

@ BacktoBodrum: Yes, we can imagine the horrified look on the face of the Turkish folks. We expected that. ;)

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