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.
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?
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.
- 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.
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.
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 broad beans) is our own. Imaginative, isn’t it?