Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lemony Fava Beans with Fresh Tomato (No Added Fat)

I enjoyed eating fava bean based falafel when I visited Cairo maybe 15 or so years ago. I learned then that falafel is originally from Egypt and not from Lebanon where, of course, chickpeas are used in falafel.

I picked up some dry fava beans not for falafel, but because one day I want to make the famous Egyptian ful madames, a hummus-like dip of fava beans with cumin, parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and hot pepper. For today, I thought I'd make something with a fresh tomato and lemon twist. Here is what I did.

  • 1 1/2 cups dry fava beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8" or so) diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced to about 1/4" cubes
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into 1/2" cubes (about 1 3/4 cups; I used heirloom red and yellow varieties)
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • 4t fresh squeezed lemon juice
  1. I cooked the fava beans in boiling water for over 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes, then drained and rinsed. I had read this trick to have the skin then be easy to peel off.
  2. I tried to remove the outer skins, but it wasn't easy; after using my thumbnail and then squeezing, I was able to do it, but it took time. I quit after about a third of the beans and soaked the beans in ample water overnight.
  3. The next day after plenty of soak time (14 hours or so), I continued removing skins till they were all done. It wasn't any easier; this time, I tried gently pressing each bean into the knife of a blade and then squeezing the bean out of the skin or pulling the skin away. I had about 2 1/2 cups of beans.
  4. I put the beans, garlic, onion, and water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. I waited a few minutes then slowly let out remaining pressure and mixed in the tomato, oregano, salt, and lemon juice.
I also served some quinoa with flame-roasted corn kernels and salad greens.


Wow! We all loved this. The lemon and fresh tomato really made this a fresh and lively dish.

Ideas for the future

Removing the skins of the beans was time consuming. I wonder if I can find dry split fava beans. I would love to make a ful madames sometime soon.

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