If you find yourself in the region of Antalya then most likely you will come across a ‘Şişçi Lokantasi’, a cafe or restaurant where they specialise in chargrilled delicious skewers of meat which are served with a side dish called Piyaz. The word Şişçi’ comes from ‘şiş’meaning stick or skewer and the ‘çi’ being the vendor. So ‘shish kebap’ seller.
In Turkey, Piyaz is a general term for a dried bean dish served with onion, parsley and sumac. However, in Antalya, it is served quite differently.
Tahini is blended with lemon juice and vinegar to make a wonderfully rich, smooth sauce that teams up beautifully with the beans and salad ingredients.
Do you have beans, tahini and a lemon on hand? it is a pretty quick dish to whip up and packs a hell of a punch. It cannot really be compared to any other dish. It has a totally unique texture and flavour and if you are partial to the taste of sesame (which is what tahini is made of) then you will love this!
So, Henrik and I went in search for the tastiest. Looking for the juiciest kebaps with the best piyaz.
We have to say that the standard is very high here in Finike and what was incredible, is that once we starting going round with our eyes peeled, we realised that in the tiny little area around the marina itself there were 9 Şiş & Piyaz Salons as they call them. We thought that would be the total of the whole town but in fact, it seems according to density and the areas left uninspected, they are more likely to be at least 30.
Lastly, I would like to say that there are two schools of thought when it comes to creating this Antalyan Piyaz dish. The sauce can include some mashed up dried beans (as specified in the recipe below) to make it a little thicker or they can be left out altogether. Either way, the flavour is sublime.
So why not give this a go? If you like tahini, it will be hard not to be drawn to this delicious dish.
- 400g tin cannelloni beans, white beans or kuru fasulye
- or ¾ cup dried beans soaked overnight and cooked until tender the next day
- (small cup of dried beans) remove ½ cup cooked beans to a bowl
- 1.5 Tbsp pale coloured Tahini,
- Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Lemon Juice (approx 1 Tbsp)
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp white or cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- sliced onion, preferably red
- ½ tsp salt
- Tomato cubed
- Remove ½ cup of cooked beans from the total beans and place in a blender or bowl
- Either the beans can be blended or mashed really well with the following ingredients:
- Salt, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, warm water and tahini.
- Blend or mash until as smooth as possible.
- Test the sauce and add more salt, lemon juice or vinegar if necessary.
- Lay out the remaining beans on a flat plate, pour over the sauce and dress with chopped tomatoes, sliced boiled eggs and sliced onion.
- Drizzle olive oil over the dish and then sprinkle on parsley.