Legendary Dishes | Turli Tava (meat and vegetable stew)


This mixed meat and vegetable stew has its origins in the south Balkans, but it is popular across the region, finding its way into Turkey and the trans-Caucasus.

It can be made with beef, lamb or mutton, with assorted vegetables – aubergines, green and red peppers, okra and zucchini, with root vegetables – carrots, onions and potatoes, and with beans and rice.

  • 1 litre water
  • 250 g onions, chopped
  • 150 g aubergines, peeled, cubed
  • 150 g beef, cubed
  • 150 g lamb, cubed
  • 150 g mixed peppers, chopped
  • 150 g okra, cut small, soaked in one tablespoon vinegar
  • 150 g string beans, chopped
  • 150 g tomatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 150 g zucchini, cubed
  • 90 g butter, for frying
  • 75 g rice
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • Salt, pinch
  • Olive oil, for frying

Sauté onions in half the butter in a large heavy-based pot over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Increase heat to high, brown meat, about ten minutes.

Pour in the water, cover and bring to a low boil.

Melt remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil, and sauté in succession the beans, aubergines, okra, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes.

Add vegetables to the meat pot.

Deglaze frying pan with some of the cooking water and add to pot.

Add rice, bring heat to a low boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve with bread.