Turli with Vegetables and Beef (Ratatouille)
If you ever go to Albania, you will notice one thing for sure, Turli is their most popular dish. They also have a synonym for it. Because they make Turli almost every day in the summer, they call it “Summer Dish” (Gjelle Vere).
- 200 gr Beef
- 150 gr Mozzarella
- 6 Tomatoes
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Green Pepper
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 Thyme
Preparing the Vegetables for Turli
Quick fact, tomatoes are considered fruits, even cucumbers. Basically everything that has seeds. As the first step, we need to peel the tomatoes. Peeling them is very difficult if you are not using this trick. After peeling the tomatoes, use a blender to blend all of them. For faster and better results, add 1/2 cup of water. This will make the blending more efficient, and the paste smoother.
Secondly chop the onion finely.
Thirdly, julienne the eggplant, the red pepper, the green pepper and the zucchini. It is important not to mix them together because they require different times to cook. Lastly, take the beef and mozzarella and cut it in small dice format.
In a hot pan, add some olive oil, enough to fry all the vegetables. I would suggest around 3 tbsp. Put the meat first and start to stir it so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. In a minute or two, add the chopped onion and continue to stir it. After we mix the onion with the meat, add the peppers. When the peppers start softening (around 4-5 minutes cooking), add the eggplant and the zucchini.
Cook the dish until all the vegetables are properly cooked on low heat. If the heat is too high, there is a good chance that half of the vegetables will be either under-cooked or burned. Low heat is very important. The best way to make Turli is to fry every ingredient separately and mix them together at this step but this way is more time consuming.
When you notice that all the vegetables are done, add the blended tomatoes. Cover the pan, and leave Turli to simmer until the water from the tomatoes is almost gone. You will notice that the color of the tomato sauce transforms from pink to a dark red, just like in the picture. 5 minutes from the end, add salt, thyme and mozzarella. Cover the pan to melt the cheese.