Spring is around the corner and one of the most exciting things about spring, to me, is a generous serving of kofte eaten outdoors accompanied by the sea-view and iodine smell. The best thing to go with that drizzling kofte (meatballs) platter is piyaz. Kofte-piyaz duo is like the Laurel & Hardy of Turkish Cuisine and of course ayran (the infamous yogurt drink) always accompanies the feast.
There are various ways to make piyaz, here goes my favorite:
2 cups of dried lima beans, soaked overnight, then boiled in 3 liters of salted water, or 400-500 g canned beans
1 red onion, julienne
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 tablespoons of tahini (optional but highly recommended)
Salt: 2 teaspoons for boiling the beans + 1 teaspoon for rubbing into onions + a pinch for the final assembly
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon + a pinch of sumac (if not available, increase the amount of lemon juice)
Prepare all the ingredients, that is, soak the beans overnight, then boil in salted water till al dente, drain, peel and chop the tomato, squeeze the lemon, chop the onion and then rub those onion slices with 2 tablespoon of salt til soft and almost mushy, rinse with cold water twice, squeeze the excess water. Mix all the ingredients together, sprinkle with a pinch of sumac for decoration. Serve as quick as possible, of course with kofte, ayran and white puff bread.