Fava Beans à la Turque (Zeytinyağlı İç Bakla)


I wasted 25 years of my life without eating fava/broad beans, but I had my reasons. The first time I tried fava beans, they were not podded. The pod has a weird fuzzy feel and I sure cannot stand it. Years after that first experience, I tried podded fava beans, and it’s been one of my favorite olive oil dishes ever since. I still cannot eat them in the pod.

The only place I found fresh fava/broad beans in pod here in the states was Seattle Pike Place Market, but I haven’t been trying hard. I buy them frozen and podded from an international market here in Bloomington.

1 pound frozen or fresh fava beans
1 big onion or 2 medium ones, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped or 2 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp white sugar
salt, a little more than 1 tsp
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup of water
1 tsp pepper flakes (optional)

-Mix well all the ingredients except for water in a pot. Choose a broad pot; you don’t want your fava beans to get too intimate and as a result fight, break, or be smooshed.
-Add water; water should barely cover the beans. Bring it to a boil on medium and then turn it down to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.
-Let it cool down before serving, because like all Turkish olive oil dishes fava beans are served and best when cold.

This dish is usually served with a garlicy yogurt sauce, but it’s still delicious without it. By now I’m well aware that the idea of (plain) yogurt with garlic doesn’t sound good to most of the Americans; however, you should give it a try, at least with fava beans.

Garlicy Yogurt
For every cup of yogurt use 1/2 clove minced garlic. If you can handle garlic, raise the amount. Do not go beyond 1 clove per 1 cup of yogurt; others may not handle the garlic on you. Mix yogurt and garlic well, salt to your taste, and serve this sauce on the side of fava beans or on top.
This is my second dill recipe for Kalyn‘s Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey? this week. Although dill is not the only herb in it, the recipe cannot survive without dill. A fava bean dish without dill is simply unheard-of.

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