Pirpirim Asi: turkish purslane stew

pirpirim asi purslane stew

After the hearty manti soup with chickpeas, we continue with comfort food recipes from Turkey. And chickpeas are in the mix again today. That wasn't actually planned.  It's just that we soaked a large quantity of chickpeas for a stew, but then didn't feel like making it. So the chickpeas are used and the rest is frozen.


Back to comfort food: we have noticed that many Turkish dishes simply fall into this category. Especially these hot stews, which you enjoy spoon by spoon and which are complete with a piece of fresh bread. This also applies to our purslane stew with lentils, chickpeas and bulgur.


Admittedly: You can happily do without the bread with this purslane stew, as it is definitely filling. Nevertheless... what would a Turkish meal be without bread and yogurt?


Today's Turkish recipe is something different. Here, purslane is cooked with legumes to make a stew. And it smells sooo delicious! Surprisingly delicious.


We've only ever eaten purslane as a salad. In Turkey, semizotu (Turkish for purslane) is particularly popular in combination with garlic yoghurt. However, there are also numerous other purslane recipes. Oh yes, the Turks love their purslane.

pirpirim asi purslane stew

We could hardly buy it in Austria. It was rarely seen in the catalogs of Turkish supermarkets. But when we arrived at the vegetable shelf, the purslane was already sold out. Things are different in Turkey. At this time of year, you really can find purslane on every corner. At the market, it can be found on a table with parsley, spinach, lettuce, dill and other herbs. And you'll also find it at the greengrocer.


With so much purslane, there must of course be a wide selection of recipes - and yay, there are. The majority of these purslane recipes are listed as typical "get-well-food". This is because purslane is considered a medicinal plant in Turkey. We don't want to raise our index finger now, but at this point it really is:

Eat more purslane, because:


Purslane is incredibly tasty. A little sour, a little nutty and the aroma of the herb wafts through the whole house when you cook it. Purslane makes you happy. Not only because of the taste, but it also promotes the production of serotonin in the brain. Purslane is good for vascular and heart health. Purslane is so rich in vitamin K that 100 grams already cover the daily requirement.


Once again: purslane tastes good. Because that's what it's all about.


purslane stew turkish

Pirpirim Aşı and what else you should know about this purslane recipe

Pirpirim Aşı - that's the name of this Turkish dish. Pirpirim is a regional name for purslane. Aş is in turn the dish/food. It usually refers to hearty Turkish dishes with legumes and the like, which are also used in this purslane recipe. With chickpeas, lentils and bulgur, the stew is really filling. It is only seasoned with salt and a little paprika powder, but it tastes like much more. The purslane is the key ingredient.


But you may remember that we used to call this Turkish dish "sour stew". Sour? The sour note is the flavor kick in this Turkish recipe and should never be left out. The original recipe uses sumac extract*. This makes the food nice and sour. If you can't find it, you can simply make your own substitute. You can find out how to do this below.

purslane stew pirpirim asi


Gaziantep: the home of our purslane stew

Although purslane is popular all over Turkey, our recipe today comes from the south-east, or rather Gaziantep. Gaziantep is known for its excellent cuisine and classics such as baklava and lahmacun are also said to come from here. As Gaziantep is located right next to Syria, there are numerous Arabic influences. There are also recipes that people from other places in Turkey don't like at all. Especially when fruit is combined with meat. 


However, purslane also has an important place in the cuisine of Gaziantep. While it is actually called "semizotu" in Turkish, it is known as "pirpirim" in Gaziantep. And they know what they are doing with their pirpirim!


Because the purslane is even dried and made into our purslane stew. In the comments on Turkish recipe platforms, we learned that half fresh and half dried purslane is often used for this Turkish dish. However, we prepared the stew with fresh purslane.


Make your own sumac extract substitute

All you need is some sumac*, which you can find at a Turkish shop or well-stocked supermarket. Put a full tablespoon in a bowl and pour some hot water over the sumac. Filter the water with a small sieve. You can use the extract for this Turkish recipe or other treats and throw the sumac away.


If you can't find sumac either, you can add 2 tablespoons of pomegranate syrup to the stew.


Pirpirim Asi: sour purslane stew 


  • 1 bunch of whole purslane (approx. 400 grams)
  • 8 tbsp soaked chickpeas (or from the tin)
  • 4 tbsp green lentils
  • 4 tbsp bulgur
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp bell pepper paste (salca*)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp paprika powder
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp sumac extract*
purslane stew


If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight

Step 1: Chop the onion and fry it in a pan with olive oil until translucent. Wash and chop the purslane, including the stalks. 

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of paprika paste and the paprika powder to the glazed onions. Stir everything together. Add the chopped purslane to the pot and stir everything through. Pour water over everything and salt the stew.

Step 3: When the water is boiling, add the chickpeas, lentils, bulgur and sumac extract. Cook everything until the lentils are cooked. 


Tip: If the stew is infused, it tastes even better and more sour.

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