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 Egypt Featured Ingredient


Fava Beans (Broad Beans)

Information about Fava Beans (Broad beans)



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Fava or Broad beans (Vicia faba) are a member of the pea family and are one of the oldest known cultivated plants. Fava beans are also known by many other names such as broad beans, Windsor beans and horse beans. They have been a part of many Mediterranean cuisines for millennia and the Egyptians have been cultivating and eating them for over 4000 years.

Fresh fava beans grow in pods much like green peas only longer and thicker and are usually the same size and shape as medium-sized butter beans. They need to be shelled (removed from their pods) before cooking. They can be bought fresh, dried and tinned.

You can cook freshly shelled young beans in a large saucepan in plenty of boiling water until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. However as the beans get older they develop a tough skin which should be removed before cooking. This is easily done by blanching in boiling water after which the skins should slip off. Dried fava beans should be soaked for 12 hours prior to cooking, usually for 2 to 3 hours.

You can find recipes using broad beans on the Egypt Cooking by Country page and throughout the site. Just use the Search facility to find them all.


Happy Cooking!


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