Fava Beans (aka broad beans) are one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, with origins dating back over 5000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. Fava beans are an important staple throughout the Mediterranean & the Middle East. They are a rich source of protein & also high in iron, dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin A & Vitamin C.
My Spicy Fava Bean Hummus is a healthy & delicious appetizer or snack that you can serve with toasted naan or pita wedges. This dish is perfect for entertaining since it can be made well in advance.
I just love fava beans, they have a delicious flavor and a wonderful creamy texture. If you can find fresh fava beans, I highly recommend using them for this recipe but canned or even frozen will always work in a pinch. If you cant find fava beans, feel free to substitute any whole cooked bean instead.
SPICY FAVA BEAN HUMMUS
2 to 2½ lbs of fava beans in their pods
2-3 large garlic cloves
½” piece of ginger, peeled
2-3 small green Thai chilies, to taste
¼ tsp ground cumin powder
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp olive oil (any kind will work, try some flavored or infused oils)
finely minced cilantro leaves
If you are using canned or frozen fava beans, they are usually cooked and basically ready to use. If you are using canned fava beans, rinse & drain well before use. If you are planning to use frozen fava beans, make sure that they are completely thawed before use. You will need 2 to 2½ cups of frozen or canned fava beans. If you are lucky enough to have fresh fava beans, then there is a bit of prep & cooking involved but totally worth the extra little effort. First, remove all the beans from their thick outer pods. Each pod may contain anywhere from 5-8 fava beans. Then either steam the fava beans for about 5 minutes or boil them for about 8-10 minutes (or until they look wrinkled and gray in color). That’s ok, just remove their outer layer. The inner fava bean will be bright green, smooth & now - ready to use.
Using a food processor, blend the fava beans along with the garlic, ginger & green chilies. Then add in the ground cumin powder, salt, pepper & lemon juice. Now slowly drizzle in the olive oil & blend until smooth or your preferred desired consistency is reached. If the fava bean puree is too thick, just add a little water. Transfer to a serving bowl & mix in the cilantro. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil over the top if you like.
Instead of cilantro leaves, feel free to use your favorite herbs or combination of herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, garlic chives, lemon chives…
Add some different spices such as ground coriander powder or your favorite spice mixtures such a little curry powder, garam masala, chaat masala….
Try using roasted garlic instead of plain regular garlic. Or add a little harissa, sriracha or your favorite hot sauce to the fava bean puree for a spicier kick.