FAVA! This is one of those delicate, velvety mezes that are part of traditional rakı tables. If cooked and prepared properly it will set well, which is the ultimate desired result. This is a meze any chef, whether a homechef or a pro, will be proud to present their guests. But it’s also risky to serve since there is no ambiguity about it: people either love it or hate it!  I for one have been a great fan of fava ever since I tasted it for the first time in my teenage years. And by the way, I did not drink rakı as teenager of course! The fact that this is a meze shouldn’t be an excuse to make it only for special dinner occasions. It should be treated as any other cold appetizer if you ask me. I used to have a close friend, Hande, who’s fava was just right every time she made it. But then she moved to another city and I had to learn how to make it myself! I’ll tell you I’ve had a few failed attempts in obtaining a well-set firm fava. Don’t be intimidated if it happens to you on your first trial. Keep in mind that as long as it tastes good you can always consume it as a spread or in the form of a cold purée. And last but not least when serving this beauty please do drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil and some freshly squeezed lemon juice and decorate with a few sprigs of fresh dill and even some rings of red onion, if you like!
Mmmm doesn’t get better than that! Bon appétit!


  • 250 gr split dried fava beans (broad beans)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml)  olive oil
  • a large handful of fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1,5  tsp  salt
  • 1 lemon
  • Lemon juice & extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top

Step by step method

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  1. Soak beans in cold water overnight. The next day wash well and drain them.

  2. Wash and cut carrot into 2-3 pieces. Peel and roughly chop onion and garlic cloves. Place a deep pot over medium heat and add olive oil and add the carrot, onion and garlic. Toss over medium to low heat for a few minutes.
  3. Add about 2,5 cups of water (ca.750-800 ml) and bring to a boil. You may need to add some more (up to one cup) hot water during the cooking process, depending on how much water evaporates until your beans are thoroughly cooked.
  4. When the water comes to a boil add sugar and salt and the drained fava beans. Bring to a boil again, then lower heat to medium-low and leave to simmer with lid half-open. Keep an eye on it since some foam may accummulate on the surface, in which case you should remove  it with a slotted spoon or other utensil and discard (you may need to repeat this step a few times). If too much of the water evaporates before your beans reach the correct consistency for mashing then add small amounts of hot water along the cooking process, as necessary. Stir and check your beans often during the cooking time. Don’t anticipate to add extra water since the beans will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to cook properly.
  5. Cook your beans until you they reach a nice, mushy consistency. They should neither be too watery nor too stiff. Once they’ve reached the desired consistency, take off the heat and let stand for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile you may remove the pieces of carrot but this is not absolutely necessary and I choose to leave them in the mixture.
  6. Now add a good handful of roughly chopped dill and ca.2-3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Use a hand blender to mash the mixture evenly and obtain a velvety purée. In this step you should also taste and adjust salt and lemon juice; but don’t overdo the lemon juice since you will add some when serving as well.

  7. Take a preferably rectangular and ca 35×22 cm pyrex dish and rinse the inner part with cold water. Drain excess water and pour your fava bean purée into the dish. Smooth out the surface using a spatula then leave to cool at room temperature. Once it’s cooled down, cover with stretch film and place in refrigerator to set and cool thoroughly overnight or at least 6-8 hours.
  8. Before serving, cut first lengthwise at 4-5 cm intervals, then cut diagonally to obtain diamond shaped pieces. If you find this difficult to do, you may cut out whatever shape pieces you want. Or in the worst case if you haven’t obtained the right consistency and your fava hasn’t set properly you may just as well serve it in spoonfuls, in the form of a cold purée!
  9. Whichever form your fava beans have taken in the process of serving, you should drizzle them with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh dill.