Fava Beans (Broad Beans)
Information about Fava Beans (Broad beans)
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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.
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
You can find recipes using broad beans on the Egypt Cooking by Country page and
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