Turlu turlu is a Turkish veggie dish that's quite similar to ratatouille. It's absolutely packed with flavour and very easy to make in one pot. Serve it with a chunk of crusty bread or scoop it up with flatbreads — it's amazingly delicious either way!
Turlu turlu is one of those foods that makes you fall in love at first bite. It's a Turkish vegetable stew that's also found in various Balkan cuisines such as Albania, North Macedonia and Greece.
"Türlü" means "various" in Turkish, and you can easily see why they named the dish that way just by looking at the list of ingredients.
There are lots of variations of this Turkish ratatouille, but all of them consist of a mix of vegetables, tomato paste and/or pepper paste.
Just like with ratatouille, turlu turlu is the perfect thing to cook whenever you have mismatched veggies on your hands.
Why you'll love turlu turlu
- It has amazing flavours from slow cooking the veggies with garlic, bay leaves and Turkish pepper paste.
- It's super nutritious, with loads of vitamins and minerals from the veggies and protein from the chickpeas.
- It tastes even better the next day, so it's great for meal prep.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil — You'll need about 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to saute the veggies in. This is not the kind of recipe where you can use water or stock instead of oil because the result will be quite bland.
Red onion — I love how the flavour of red onion pairs with the rest of the veggies, but you can use any other kind of onion you want.
Aubergines (eggplant) — Cut the aubergines into cubes and sprinkle some salt over them. Leave them in a colander while you prep the rest of the ingredients. This will prevent them from soaking up too much oil.
Courgettes (zucchini) — You don't have to peel the courgettes for this Turkish turlu recipe.
Bell peppers — I used red and green bell peppers for variety, but you can use whatever colours you like.
Tomato paste — This is optional, but I like to add it because it enhances the flavour of the tomatoes you add later.
Turkish pepper paste — This is a condiment made from sweet peppers and it's called biber salçası in Turkish. It's super flavourful and often used to flavour various dishes or simply eaten on toast or pita. If you can't find it, use any other non-spicy red pepper paste.
Okra — Both fresh and frozen okra work in this recipe.
Chickpeas — A can of chickpeas adds loads of protein to this turlu turlu recipe.
Chopped tomatoes — diced or crushed tomatoes are both good options. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, make sure they're very ripe.
How to make Turkish turlu turlu
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and saute the red onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until slightly softened.
Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Next, add the aubergine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the zucchini and bell peppers and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Next, add 1 teaspoon salt, the tomato paste, Turkish pepper paste and bay leaves.
Stir to combine, then add the okra, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and water.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until all the veggies have softened. Add more water as needed if it looks like it's evaporating too quickly.
Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Season to taste and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can serve turlu turlu hot or cold.
- If you want to reheat it, you can do so in the microwave or on the stovetop (you may need to add some water).
- You can freeze turlu turlu for up to 3 months. Make sure you allow it to cool completely before freezing. Defrost it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- Other veggies you can add to your turlu include green beans, potatoes and turnips.
- For even more flavour, bake the turlu turlu in a casserole for 45-60 minutes at 190°C (375°F).
- Add some red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper if you want your turlu to have a bit of a kick.
If you liked this turlu turlu recipe, you might also like some of my other easy one-pot vegan meals:
- One Pot Vegan Jambalaya
- Vegan Spanish White Bean Stew
- Easy Pinto Bean Soup
- Thai Coconut Chickpea Curry
- Minestra di Ceci (Chickpea and Spinach Soup)
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