I thought it was about time I shared another family favourite Turkish recipe. Bezelye, a pea stew in a tomato sauce. Traditionally, Bezelye is made with meat like chicken, beef or lamb but I have created this recipe as a vegetarian alternative as I don’t’ eat meat, so I can still enjoy a childhood favourite of mine. I have previously shared more of my favourite recipes so make sure you check them out.
A pea stew may sound like a boring meal with those small green peas but actually it makes for a delicious and very comforting, family friendly meal. My kids love this meal, my youngest isn’t so keen on plain steamed or boiled peas but he adores this pea stew. This is a great recipe to try out for you and any little mouths you have to feed and is a great way of getting those green veggies into their diet’s if they can be fussy. This veggie packed pea stew is so easy to throw together, the majority of the time in this recipe is the cooking time on the stove, so you have plenty of time to go and keep the kids entertained or carry on with any work or housework you have to do.
If you are thinking ‘wow just veggies, that sounds boring’, I for one can say that this Bezelye recipe is just as enjoyable as if my Mum made her one with beef. I have allowed for this in my recipe, so you can add meat to it if you would like, I have also made this with Quorn mince and it tastes just as nice. If you do choose to add meat to this recipe, add it at the beginning with the frying of the onions, so simply add chopped chicken or lamb or cook some beef mince and then continue the recipe as normal. This is such an easy recipe to follow and you will find it will be one you will go back to when you want a warming and delicious easy to prepare meal to enjoy with your family.
I like to make this as one batch and any leftovers can go into a Pyrex, covered and left in the fridge to enjoy the next day for lunch or for dinner again. You can also cook this meal up and freeze it in a freezer friendly Tupperware boxes to be reheated until piping hot in the microwave at a later date. Alternatively, you can defrost and then place into a saucepan and add a little boiling water to loosen and reheat until hot and serve. If you chose to freeze this meal, then defrost in the fridge and then reheat as you please. It goes without saying that if you have used meat, to make sure that you reheat it thoroughly to ensure the meat is hot through. Freeze up to 6 months for veggies and 3 months for meat dishes.
In a large casserole pot (with a lid) over a medium heat add the olive oil and add the onions and sauté for a few minutes, then add the carrots and pepper and fry until soft and starting to colour. Add the potatoes, tin chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and peas and mix well.
Pour in the water and add the bouillon/stock and season with a small pinch of ground black pepper and give it a good stir to mix everything together.
Bring to the boil, then simmer low and cover fully with the lid and leave for 1 hour-10 minutes. You can check on it occasionally to give it a stir to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. (This should be enough water but if for any reason it does stick and the sauce tightens then add a little boiling water to loosen).
After an hour or so give it one last stir and replace the lid and switch off heat. This is the time to make the rice or throw together a salad and slice some bread.
We like to serve Bezelye with some Turkish rice and some plain yoghurt and a garnish of freshly cut parsley. If you want a low carb alternative enjoy with a green salad and some Greek yoghurt.
If you are really short for time, add this to a slow cooker on high for 4 hours, but from my experience it tastes better cooked on the stove.
I hope you like this recipe and if you make it, please share it with me over on Instagram and tag me @pinarcooks. For more Turkish inspired vegetarian recipes take a look at my favourites.
Until next time,
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