Fava beans are a remarkably versatile and delightful ingredient that enhances various dishes. They can be used in dips, salads, soups, and stews to add a creamy, nutty taste and a vibrant green hue to your meal.
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Growing up in a household where Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine was a staple. Fava beans were a regular part of our diet. I remember the excitement of seeing the green fava beans in season during Lent. My mom would diligently clean and blanch them to preserve their freshness in the freezer. The tender, creamy beans would later be sautéed with onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and plenty of lemon juice, creating a flavorful dish.
Another way we enjoyed fava beans was with the dry variety, a popular breakfast item in the Middle East. Known as foul mudammas, the beans are cooked into a creamy dip-like consistency and served with fresh pita bread. When I’m in the mood for a quick snack, I enjoy boiling the dry fava beans in a pot until they become tender, then serving them in their flavorful broth with a sprinkle of cumin and a squeeze of lemon.
How to Prepare Fava Beans
How you prepare fava beans depends on how you want to use them and how young they are. You can tell how old or young the beans are by checking the softness of the outer shell. The softer the shell is, the younger the beans are. If you want to eat the entire bean, including the pod, remove any strings on both sides and chop them into smaller, 1-inch-long pieces. Most people who cook entire beans sauté them with onions, garlic, cilantro, and some lemon. This is how my mom would make them; it was always so delicious.
The beans can also be taken out of the pods and used in dips, salads, sauces, or included as risotto. If you have fresh fava beans, open the pod and remove individual beans by snapping the stem off the pods and pulling along the attached string. Then, you can peel the skin on the beans by blanching them in hot water for about 5 minutes. Once they are finished blanching, put them in an ice bath, and then use your thumb to pop the beans out of the skin.
Dry fava beans are the easiest to prepare. You need to soak the beans a day before in some water. Adding a little bit of baking soda will also speed up the process. Once soft, you can cook them in a pot with lots of water until they become soft. In the Middle East, fava beans are street food, and they tend to be boiled and then served in paper cups topped with cumin, salt, and lemon juice.
What is Foul Mudammas?
Foul Mudammas is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast dish or dips similar to hummus. It is a stew made from dry fava beans cooked into a dip. Foul itself means bean in Arabic. A mortar and pestle crush the beans to make a creamy, flavorful dish. There is also a spicy green sauce that is added to the top. This sauce grinds garlic, jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a tangy, spicy sauce. Foul Mudammas are typically served with freshly made pita bread or taboon bread.
Enhancing the Creamy and Mild Flavor of Fava Beans:
The creamy and mild taste of fava beans pairs well with bright and bold flavors like lemon juice, garlic, and cumin. The shallots provide a subtle sweetness, while the jalapeno pepper adds a spicy kick. The coriander and cilantro bring a fresh and herbaceous note, while the feta cheese adds a salty and tangy flavor. The mint provides a refreshing and cooling element to balance the other flavors.
If you want to try other herbs and seasonings, add parsley, basil, or oregano for an Italian twist, or use cumin and paprika for a smoky and earthy flavor. You could add roasted red pepper for a sweet and smoky note or chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a tangy and savory touch. A pinch of sumac or za’atar would add some Middle Eastern flair to the dip. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try new combinations of herbs and spices!
What to Serve with Fava bean dip?
Fava bean dip is a versatile dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of foods. It can elevate a simple sandwich with fresh veggies like tomatoes, cucumber, and sprouts or be spread on a crispy baguette, pita, or taboon bread. While Foul is a dish on its own, it can also be served alongside other Middle Eastern dips such as baba ganoush, muhammara, and hummus to create a well-rounded and satisfying breakfast experience.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some chopped fresh vegetables and toasted bread! Enjoy
Please Support The SiteHome Cooking is Easy!With These Minimalist Kitchen Essentials
|2 lb fresh fava beans prepared (about 6 oz of fresh beans)|
|½ small shallots (diced)|
|4 cloves roasted garlic (with 2 tablespoons of olive oil)|
|1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper (chopped)|
|1 teaspoon coriander|
|Juice of one lemon|
|¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)|
|¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)|
|2 tablespoon feta cheese (leave out if you want it vegan)|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
How to prepare fresh Fava Beans
Storage instruction for the dip:
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