No.70 Istanbul Stew & Turkish Pilaf

This is a homage to a chickpea stew that I had many moons ago in Istanbul. This tomato based chickpea stew was served simply at a lunch time cantina where you pointed to the big metal trays in the front window to say what you would like. The feeling was school dinners but the taste was fresh and vibrant.

So here is my modified version that is super simple to make and you only need one pan for the rice and one pan for the stew. This goes perfectly as a main meal or with roasted meat like my Silk Road lamb shoulder.


Serves: 2-3

Time: 25 minutes


1 and a 1/2 cups long grain rice

1/2 cup of Vermicelli

2 tablespoons of butter

3 cups of Chicken or vegetable Stock


2 tablespoons of butter or good quality olive oil

2 Green Pepper

500g of Cherry tomatoes

2 cans of chickpeas (400g each )

Tabasco Sauce


1. Prepare the vegetables slicing the tomatoes in half and dicing the peppers into thick chunks.

2. Wash the rice. In your pot where you will cook the rice fry the vermicelli in butter until turning golden brown.

3. When it has done this add the stock and the rice and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. In a frying pan with a little oil fry the peppers until they have slightly blackened.

5. Add the tomatoes to the peppers. Continue to cook on a medium heat and cover for 5-7 minutes.

6. By this time 10 minutes will have passed since the rice has been cooking. Leave covered and remove from heat.

7. Once the tomatoes have softened add the chickpeas and a few dashs of Tabasco sauce.

8. Keep covered for 5-10 minutes until the chickpeas are heated though. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

9. By this time at least 10 minutes will have passed since the rice has been removed from the heat. It should now be fully cooked and ready to serve.

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