Türlü (Mediterranean Vegetable Stew)

Colorful vegetables and flavorful spices come together in this warm Mediterranean stew. I love the hearty texture and satisfying bites of fork tender potatoes and other vegetables. And the perfectly-seasoned, saucy ground beef will satisfy all of your taste buds. Türlü is a dish that some Armenians know as "Tava." It's very similar to what the French would call ratatouille.

There are many ways to modify the recipe, depending on the selection of vegetables you have at your disposal. You could serve this stew with a side of rice pilaf or crusty bread. This recipe makes a large batch of stew, perfect for a large family gathering or when you want to plan on leftovers.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Türlü?

  • Extra virgin olive oil: for sautéing the bell peppers, onions and carrots.
  • Meat: Lean ground beef (or substitute ground lamb)
  • Seasonings: including garlic, sugar salt, black pepper, allspice and lemon juice.
  • Tomatoes: I recommend using stewed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • An assortment of vegetables that might include: eggplant, gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, fresh green beans, bell pepper, onion and carrots.
  • Green apples: Peeled, diced green apples are recommended.

How Do I Make Türlü?

First, wash all the vegetables.  Then, peel the eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. Chop or slice all the vegetables into small chunks. You can chop the onions, carrots and bell peppers into slightly smaller chunks than the other vegetables since they take longer to cook.  

Place the eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash and green beans in a large roasting pan or dutch oven and set aside.  Sauté the onions, carrots and bell peppers in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, to begin softening them.  Add the ground meat to these vegetables and stir to evenly brown the meat.  Add minced garlic, sugar and half of the seasonings (salt, pepper and allspice) to the pot and stir.  Add the stewed tomatoes and tomato paste.  After the meat is browned, place a lid on the pan and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Sprinkle the remaining seasonings over the vegetables that were set aside. Then pour the stovetop mixture in with these vegetables and toss until everything is thoroughly combined. Bake the meat and vegetables in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 75-90 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

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