Barbunya Pilaki (Turkish Style Borlotti Beans) is a classic Turkish dish braised in olive oil with onions, garlic, and tomato (paste).
This delicious vegan dish is perfect to serve as a light lunch, a part of a mezze spread, or a side dish to grilled&roasted meat, fish, and vegetables.
In Turkey, when barbunya is in season, you can find them at street markets, usually sold in their pods.
As the season for these delicious beans is quite short, people tend to buy them in bulks and pod them, portion them in plastic bags, and keep them in the freezer to use throughout the year.
Although podding them requires a little work, it surely is worth the effort.
Why This Recipe Works?
- You can make Barbunya Pilaki a couple of days ahead and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. It tastes even better a day or two after!
- It is dairy-free, gluten-free, low in calories, and high in fiber as well as vegan.
- The leftovers would keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
- Barbunya Pilaki is very easy to make with step-by-step pictures and instructions.
- The same as Zeytinyagli Pirasa Yemegi (Turkish Braised Leeks), Zeytinyagli Enginar Dolmasi - Stuffed Artichokes, and Zeytinyagli Kereviz Yemegi - Braised Celeriac dish, you can serve Turkish Style Borlotti Beans hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- It is a great dish to serve as part of a mezze selection, a delicious vegetarian & vegan meal, or as a side dish to grilled meat, fish, or vegetables.
Ingredients and Substitutes
It is also known as Roman beans or Cranberry beans.
Although the best option is to buy them fresh, you can make barbunya pilaki with dried or canned beans and both will be very delicious.
If you are lucky enough to access the fresh ones, buy them in bulk and freeze them for further use.
- Carrots - They add extra texture, color, and sweetness to Barbunya Pilaki.
- Tomato paste - When in season, it is best to use juicy ripen summer tomatoes instead of tomato paste. Substitute it with 2 small or 1 large red&juicy tomato.
- Garlic - Use finely chopped fresh garlic. Alternatively, you can turn it into a paste with a mortar and pestle or grate it with a Microplane.
- Celery - It is not one of the traditional ingredients for Barbunya Pilaki but I love the aroma it adds to the dish. You can omit it if you prefer.
- Lemon juice - I strongly advise generously squeezing fresh lemon juice on top of Barbunya Pilaki before serving to lift the flavor up.
Although making Barbunya Pilaki is very easy, you need to follow a few simple steps to achieve the best results:
Drain and wash canned borlotti beans and set them aside.
Put olive oil in a large saucepan and place it on low-medium heat.
Add the onions and gently sauté for a few minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the carrots along with the celery, and sauté for another couple of minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, salt, sugar, and garlic.
Stir for a minute and then add the borlotti beans along with the vegetable stock or water, stir all together to combine.
Bring the pan to a boil and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the carrots are softened.
Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool down, and transfer it to a serving plate.
Squeeze some lemon juice on top and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices.
There are many ways to enjoy this simple yet delicious dish.
You can serve it as a vegetarian/vegan main meal with a rice dish such as Bulgur Pilavi (Turkish Bulgur Rice Pilaf), Turkish Rice (Sehriyeli Pilav), or Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Lentils.
It is delicious as a side dish as well.
It goes perfectly alongside grilled & roasted fish, meat, or chicken dishes such as Grilled Lamb Kofta (Izgara Kofte), Rice Stuffed Chicken, Orman Kebabi, Et Sote, or Lamb Shish Kebab.
Top Tip From the Chef
If you want to cook Barbunya Pilaki with dried beans, soak them in water overnight.
Boil until soft, approximately for an hour, before adding to sauté onions&carrots.
If you have a pressure cooker you can skip the soaking process.
Simply pressure-cook dried beans for 35 minutes, drain, and rinse before adding them to sauté onions&carrots.
Pilaki is the general name for a dish made of vegetables or seafood slowly braised with onion, garlic, and tomatoes in olive oil and served cold or at room temperature. And "Barbunya Pilaki" is a pilaki dish made with barbunya beans.
Although Pinto beans and Kidney beans look like Borlotti (Barbunya) beans, they taste completely different.
Borlotti beans are also known by different names such as Roman beans, Cranberry beans, Madeira beans, Rosecoco beans, Tongues of fire beans, Wren’s egg beans, and Cacahuate (peanut) beans (in Mexico).
The leftovers would keep refrigerated for up to five days and frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.
For more tasty and healthy vegan dishes why not try:
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and tag @cookingorgeous on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingorgeous.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this healthy and delicious Barbunya Pilaki (Turkish Style Borlotti Beans) as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet olsun!
Barbunya (Turkish Style Borlotti Beans)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 stick celery (sliced)
- 1 large carrot (sliced half-moon shape)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½ cup vegetable stock or water
- 480 g borlotti beans (1 tin of cooked borlotti beans)
- chopped parsley (to garnish)
- lemon slices or wedges (to garnish)
- Put olive oil in a large saucepan and place it on low-medium heat.
- Add the onions and gently sauté for a few minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the carrots along with the celery, sauté for another couple of minutes before adding the tomato paste, salt, sugar, and garlic.
- Stir for a minute and then add the borlotti beans along with the vegetable stock or water, stir all together to combine.
- Bring the pan to a boil and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the carrots are softened.
- Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool down and transfer on a serving plate.
- Squeeze some lemon juice on top and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices.
- If you want to cook Barbunya Pilaki with dried beans, soak them in water overnight. Boil until soft, approximately for an hour, before adding to sauté onions&carrots. If you have a pressure cooker you can skip the soaking process. Simply pressure-cook dried beans for 35 minutes, drain and rinse before adding them to sauté onions&carrots.
- The leftovers would keep refrigerated for up to five days and frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.
- When in season, it is best to use juicy ripen summer tomatoes instead of tomato paste.
This post uses affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and then buy something, we get a small amount of commission to keep the site running, but it doesn’t cost you anything more.
Just made this with dried borlotti beans and they turned out perfect!
I love this recipe. Instead of parsley, I use fresh cilantro. I make this recipe about every other week and it's always amazing.
Hi can I ask If I make this dish the day before and refrigerate how do I heat it up the following day.
This dish is best when eaten at room temperature, so I would suggest you take it out of the fridge an hour before serving. If you want to eat it warm, the best way is to heat it gently in a pan over low heat.
Hope that helps.
The beans are delicious even with no meat or stock during cooking. A definite winner for those that love beans.
Made this for the second time. It looks like I spent hours making it! The first time I made it, it was a big hit and I know it will be gone soon now too!
Lovely, easy dish! It had such a nice fresh, bright flavour.