Zucchini with Beef and Garbanzo Beans (Kabak Bastırması)


I saw this recipe in a Turkish food blog, chez Ayşenur, and immediately decided to make it. Garbanzo beans and zucchini: how could it be bad? It certainly is delicious. Ayşenur says that this is a local recipe from Kilis, a city in Turkey near the Turkish-Syrian border.

2/3 cups of garbanzo beans
1/2 pound stew beef (I preferred beef but y0u can also use lamb)
2 zucchinis, medium size cut in half-rounds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 banana peppers or 1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp spicy pepper paste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp dried mint flakes

-Soak garbanzo beans overnight. The next day cook garbanzo beans and stew beef in a pressure cooker with 5-6 cups of water for 45 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then you should cook them for at least an hour or until the garbanzos are soft. Or if you want to use canned garbanzo beans then cook them for approximately 30 minutes (until the beef is cooked). Take the garbanzos and beef out and keep the water; do not throw it away.
-In a big pot heat the oil and add onions and pepper. Stir until they’re soft.
-Add the tomato and spicy pepper paste, stir for a couple of minutes. (if you cannot find spicy pepper paste, just use tomato paste and pepper flakes)
-Now it’s time to add garbanzos, beef, and zucchini. Add 3-4 cups of the water you saved from garbanzos and stew beef. Salt to your taste. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is tender on low.
-Mix minced garlic and lemon juice and stir in when zucchini is cooked. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and turn it off. Sprinkle dried mint , cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes before you serve. You won’t believe how tender the beef will be.

Ayşenur suggests that it should be served with bulgur pilaf. I have a bulgur pilaf recipe, but it would be too flavorful for this. You can also serve it with white rice. But if you want to try it with bulgur, here’s how to make a simple bulgur pilaf: Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pot. Add bulgur and stir a minute (the ratio of bulgur you will use to water should be 1:2). Add 1 tbsp tomato paste (or more) stir for another minute. Add water and salt, bring to a boil, and then cover and cook on low until bulgur soaks the water.

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