Middle eastern fava bean dip

I had a packet of dried unshelled fava beans lying around in my cupboard for the longest time. I had bought it initially hoping to make Ful Medames but then later I realized that the fava beans used in Ful Medames are Egyptian small brown fava beans and what I had instead was a pack of regular dried fava beans. I put them in the back of my cupboard right next to the fancy cranberry beans and some unknown grains which were also picked up on whim at some such other times.

I finally decided I would make a fava bean dip with these dried favas. I soaked the beans Saturday night hoping to have the dip ready by next day afternoon. On Sunday morning, I shelled the soaked beans, mashed them up, added some olive oil, zatar and garlic. The dip tasted so wonderful. Whats even better was that I  just happened to have some whole wheat pitas sitting in my bread basket! Sure a toasted pita chips with fava bean dip was on cards for that lazy Sunday afternoon!

I absolutely loved the combination of crushed garlic with smashed fava beans. I did not pureee the beans completely so there was still some texture left. Zatar is a middle eastern spice blend which I had on hand and thought married perfectly with the favas. 
Source: Something I put together
1C dried fava beans

To taste:
Olive oil - couple of Tbsp
water - couple of Tbsp
1 clove of garlic - crushed
zatar (start with 1tsp and add keep adding some more if needed)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt & pepper

** Zatar is a middle eastern spice blend. I have blogged about zatar before here. If you don't have zatar you can always substitute with some chili powder, paprika, cumin powder and sesame seeds; but buy some zatar if you happen to stumble across it.. its a wonderful spice and I am sure you would find a lot of great uses for it.
** All the ingredients are completely to taste. The proportions are merely approximates so tune them as you like!
  1. Soak dried fava beans in enough water overnight.
  2. When the beans have been soaked overnight, remove their shells. Hold the bean between your fingers and apply slight pressure, usually the shell would come right off. If they are not coming out easily, using a paring knife make a slight cut on the bean and then tear the shell apart using your fingers. (Pictures below show dried beans and soaked beans with shells removed)
  3. Heat 2C water in a pot. When the water starts to boil, add the beans and cook covered for half an hour or so until the beans are slightly mushy.
  4. Remove from heat; drain any extra water.
  5. Add the cooked beans, lemon juice, lemon zest and zatar. Start the food processor and add olive oil little by little as you run the food processor.
  6. Remove the dip to a bowl. If its too dry, add some water and mix well.
  7. Taste and adjust all the ingredients more or less as it suits your taste.
  8. Serve with some toasted pita breads or pita chips or as a sauce for pita pockets.


Sayali said…
Kudos gal ..u tried a mid eastern recipe...And thnx for telling about zatar ...:)
I love fava bean.. never tried as a dip though.. nice recipe PJ. Thanks for sharing with us dear.. Last summer we went for the picking farm and got lot of fresh fava beans .. which was so tasty.. after that I did not buy fava beans.. I must buy and try this dip for sure.
Suji said…
Wonderful idea..We too like fava beans, but neve rthought of a dip with these..Lovely recipe PJ

Kairali sisters
PranisKitchen said…
i know about this bean but not yet tried ..but this dip is really a nice idea..thanks for sharing this recipe..so got a Mediterranean dip thanks da
Pari Vasisht said…
Nice dip dear and with the pita must have tasted good. I am still to try the zatar.
Sushma Mallya said…
Lovely presentation pj and looks too good, very interesting one ,thanks for sharing...
that looks scrumptious....i can imagine the burst of aroma ...lovely presentation PJ
Kanchan said…
Totally new ! Infact I've never tried Fava Beans I guess.. they seem quite similar to our Kadve Vaal rt ..
Wow PJ...this looks really splendid...loved your cute decor dear.
Priya Suresh said…
Wat a delectable fava bean dip, i love them with some toasted breads..looks fantastic..
SathyaSridhar said…
Hey PJ, very nice bean dip well presented dear came to know zatar.
Great recipe PJ but never used fava beans before. Is this the same with lima bean? Beautiful picture too....
ok i have never had anything with fava beans and its absolutely new to me..well thanks 2 blogs like urs im learning something new everyday..shall keep a look out for these at the groceries...
indosungod said…
This dip looks very good, creamy and I am sure delicious. I have one such bag of fava beans lying in the pantry to be added to a pulav (this after tasting at a neighbor's) or to be made into falafel but ...

The best way to make use of unused grains is to make dosai out of them.
Preeti Kashyap said…
Looks Lovely! I love fava beans. Make falafels with it too..yumm!
San said…
Fava bean dip is wonderful PJ ,nice presentation .Glad to see different recipes in your space.
Savi-Ruchi said…
ever since I heard about zatar at your spice, I am going crazy about it. Wonder where can I get them in Singapore! The dip looks delicious.
Unknown said…
the dish is new to me.....must be nutritious and tasty....
Panchpakwan said…
Hey PJ, Lovely dip..Nice presentation too.
Cool Lassi(e) said…
Cant we eat them with shells? When you blend they are get pureed anywayz,right? Lovely dip by the way!
PJ said…
SS, glad you liked it. The more I use zatar the more i like it.

Pavithra, oh wow, same dip can be made with fresh favas too.. i bet it'll even taste better!

Kairali Sisters, thanks! Glad you liked it.

PranisKitchen, thanks and so gald you liked the dip.

Pari, this dip was great with toasted pitas! i loved the combo so much :)
PJ said…
Sushma, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dip and the presentation.

Sayantani, thanks! It tasted wonderful.

Kanchan, i know!! exactly.. they look really similar to kadve vaal.. flavor is a bit different but i was so excited when i saw them the first time thinking i saw kadve vaal :)

Jay, thanks! I am so glad you liked it.

Priya, thanks! I am sure this dip would be wodnerful with some toasted bread too.
PJ said…
Sathya, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dip and the zatar.

Treat and Trick, lime and fava do look very similar but I think they are slightly different. I haven;t used lima beans enough to know the difference but here is an article from wiki which might be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_faba

An Open Book, great! You should definitely try fresh favas.. they are in season right now.

Indo, pulav with fava beans sounds like a wonderful idea! I have never had one but now I am looking forward to seeing the recipe on your blog soon :)

Preeti, falafels with fava sounds delicious. That was actually what i was thinking at first; but didn't want to fry and then wasn't sure how well baked fava falafels would taste :)

San, thanks! I am so glad you liked this recipe.
PJ said…
Sush, If you dont find pre-made zatar you can always make your own. This recipe sounds interesting though I haven't tried it myself: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/middleeasternspicesherbs/r/zaatar.htm. Good luck!

Kamalika, thanks! I am so glad you liked it.

Panchpakwan, thanks! I am so glad you liked it.

Lassi, you might be, but the shells seemed a bit slimy to me and wasn't sure how they would taste. The fresh ones I bet you can eat with the inner shells.
Joanne said…
I have been all about the bean dip lately and am so excited to try this! I've never thought to make a fava dip before...good call!

And za'atar...I've been meaning to try THAT as well...
Umm Mymoonah said…
Nice dip PJ,looks yummy
Suja Manoj said…
This dip recipe sounds great..healthy
first time here..lovely space with nice recipes.
Justin said…
i'll have to look for that zatar spice, yum
Nithu said…
I love thsi bean dip recipe. Never tried it with this ingredients. Lovely presentation PJ.
PJ said…
Joanne, try the fava bean dip and zatar.. I am sure you will like both and zatar in particular you will thousand uses for it too :D

Umm, thanks! So glad you liked it.

Suja, thanks and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you liked the space and the recipes.

Justin, zatar is a wonderful and vesratile spice blend. if you get it, you definitely have to try the toasted whole wheat pita with EVOO and zatar.. so yummy!

Nithu, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dip.
Namitha said…
That sounds like a wonderful dip..can't wait to try zatar :-)
Sunitha said…
Most stuff I see on your site are alien to me. Thanks to you I am learning quick. Zatar, hm.. got to get this one.
Anushree said…
Cool stuff!! New words get added to my vocab thanks to ur blog :D