Almost Turkish Recipes

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.


  1. I LOVE fava beans and planted them in my garden a few weeks ago. If the birds would leave the sprouting seeds alone, everything would be peachy! Thank you for the recipe. I look for fava bean recipes and that looks delicious.

  2. Sherry, I'm jealous now that you'll have fresh fava beans in YOUR garden. I hope you'll like the recipe when you try it, too. Let me know how it goes.

  3. i'm not sure i've ever actually eaten fava beans, but now i'm determined to try. thanks for the recipe!

  4. krista7:58 AM

    My mother makes this dish, its my fovorite. The only thing is its hard to find fresh fava beans all the time in my area.

  5. Krista, try looking for frozen fava/broad beans. They're as good as fresh ones.

  6. I love coming here and learning about something I haven't had. I've never seen fresh fava beans here, but now I'll look for frozen ones. (As I am a *lot* older than 25 and haven't had them!) The garlicy yogurt sounds great to me, but I love Tzatziki sauce and raita both and it's a similar idea. Love learning more about Turkish food, thanks!

  7. Kalyn, it's never too late :)
    When you're looking for them, do not forget favas are also called broad beans.

  8. Another version of this is: Shell the large green beans, then peel them. This sounds like a pain (it is) but you can make it easier by shocking them in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then straining. Make a diagonal light score across a bean, then squeeze; it slips right out. For 2 cups of beans add a large onion cut into irregular slivers, salt to taste, and about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for only about 12 minutes; they get very tender very quickly. At the very end toss in a couple tablespoons of freshly chopped dill, and add fresh ground pepper. Let cool. Very very good!

  9. Anonymous7:19 AM

    Anyone know about cooking with dried fava beans?

  10. anonymous- you can soak dry fava beans over night and boil them until soft but firm. The you can make the same recipe.

  11. Anonymous12:31 PM

    A friend gave me a lot of fresh fava beans from her own garden, and I decided to try this recipe.
    Burcu, all your recipes are great, and this one is really delicious, especially with garlicly yogurt (I use homemade "qatyq").
    Sazji, thank you for the idea of peeling the beans. Next time, I'll try your version too.

  12. Elena, I envy you: I wish I had a friend to bring me fresh fava beans. I'm glad you like the recipe, since this is one of my all time favorites.

  13. Hi, my name is Pilar and I´m from spain. A friend living in Istambul sent me sumak and köfte bahari so I´m searching the web looking for uses to give to this spices. I came across your blog and I have to congratulate you. it´s a great job you are doing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. hi
      i usually use sumak either with potato salad or fried liver. it gives a savor taste to food, bit like lemon. kofte bahari is a mixture to make kofte. just mix it with mince meat and make small balls. either fried them or grill them