Fresh fava beans are kind of veggies you either hate or love. Honestly, as a kid, I used to eat fava beans just to make mom happy. I couldn’t see any point in loving these fuzzy beans and their smell when cooking was unbearable! “How can mom and dad eat it so heartily?”, I used to ask myself. I don’t remember the exact time when I started to love these broad beans, but it is one of my favorite vegetable now. I guess I started to love it when mom made a side dish from shelled fresh fava beans. I did love the podded fava beans! So was it their pod which kept me away from these beans? Probably! If you still can’t eat them with pods, you must try the shelled version!
After getting used to its flavor with the help of podded beans, I decided to give it another chance. I wasn’t a kid anymore, right? There must be something special in fava beans, which make people love it so much and I must dicover that specialty!
Looking for the specialty in it, I discovered 2 Ways of Eating Fava Beans!
So what are these 2 Ways of Eating Fava Beans? One of them is with an appetizing lemon flavor! I learnt from a friend’s mom that a mixture of water, flour and a generous amount of lemon helps fava beans keep their color and gives them a little crunchiness. You wait chopped fresh fava beans in this mixture for 5-10 minutes before cooking and pour the same mixture into the dish when cooking. This is a method applied in some regions of Turkey when cooking fava beans. Not mom’s style though! She cooks it with pepper paste and no lemon. This is the only recipe of mom I don’t like much. I can proudly say that when I cooked it for her with that lemon mixture, she liked it even more than her own recipe!
It is almost a must to cook these beans with olive oil and it is a kind of olive oil dish from Turkish cuisine. It becomes even tastier when you add a little extra virgin olive oil after it is cooked and cooled.
Another must-add ingredient in this dish is chopped fresh dill. You know herbs always make a great touch on dishes, this one is no exception! Fresh fava beans and fresh dill definitely make a great match with their remarkable flavors.
I promised to tell you 2 Ways of Eating Fava Beans, right? So the second way is eating it with garlicky yogurt. A little garlicky yogurt just completes the flavors!
Which of these 2 Ways of Eating Fava Beans do I like more? I love them together! I love to enjoy it both with lemon and yogurt. I sometimes add even some extra drops of lemon over beans just before eating, eat some of it and then add yogurt on the rest and double my pleasure!
So here is the recipe for Zeytinyagli Bakla as we call it in Turkish:
- ½ kilo fresh fava beans, chopped
- ½ cup water
- ½ tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped finely
- A pinch of black pepper
- Salt to taste
- ¼ bunch of fresh dill, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1 cup yogurt
- Mix water, flour and lemon juice.
- Wait chopped fresh fava beans in this mixture for 5-10 minutes so that they keep their green color.
- Heat olive oil and saute onion in it.
- Add tomatoes when onions get golden. Saute them together.
- When they are cooked well, add fresh fava beans into it.
- Pour water, flour, lemon mixture on it and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium high heat.
- Add salt and black pepper. Bring it to the lowest heat and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Let it cool and add chopped fresh dill on it and mix when it’s cooled.
- Mix mashed garlic and yogurt fort he sauce.
- Serve fresh fava beans cold or at room temperature with garlicky yogurt.
Use wooden spoon, not metal one when cooking fava beans so that they don’t get blackish.
You can add a little extra virgin oil right before serving.