Fava beans, in Greek u00ceu00a6u00ceu00bfu00cfu008du00ceu00bbu00ceu00b9u00ceu00b1 (foulia) is a legume similar to broad beans (ficia fava) in ancient Greek named u00ceu00bau00cfu008du00ceu00b1u00ceu00bcu00ceu00bfu00cfu0082 (u00ceu00bayamos) and in modern Greek u00ceu00bau00ceu00bfu00cfu0085u00ceu00bau00ceu00b9u00ceu00ac (koukia) and was one of the species of beans than existed in the ancient world. u00c2u00a0 Fava beans are mentioned by Homer (8th to 9th century B.C.). u00c2u00a0 Greeks associated the little back spot on the hilum with death and although the beans were sometimes offered in Sacrifices to Apollo, it was forbidden for the priests to eat it or even mention its name.

In ancient Greece beans were also used in voting, a white bean being used to cast a yes vote and black bean for no. Since after every voting the beans were counted, even today we use the phrase “u00ceu00bau00ceu00bfu00cfu0085u00ceu00bau00ceu00b9u00ceu00acu00c2u00a0 u00ceu00bcu00ceu00b5u00cfu0084u00cfu0081u00ceu00b7u00ceu00bcu00ceu00adu00ceu00bdu00ceu00b1” (the beans have been counted), referring to the results of the votes.

However, fava in Greece is also the name of a dish, which is usually made with yellow split peas. What most people do not know is that fava, which takes its name from the latin favus and means beans, was originally made with fava beans. Fava was difficult to cook, as it had to be shelled, soaked for hours in water and took a long time to cook. However, later on they started using u00c2u00a0peas, which were much easier to cook and until today continue making fava with this pea which in Greek is called «fava» (lathyrus clymenum).

In Cyprus, Koukia xera, dried broad beans (fava beans) are boiled until soft almost like a u00c2u00a0puree.u00c2u00a0 They are served as a soup with olive oil and lemon juice.

Leftovers can be further pureed, making a creamy dip served as an appetizer, similar to hoummous.

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

The next day I had some leftovers, so I microwaved a couple of potatoes, added canned tuna, capers, gherkins and a few other ingredients and I made a delicious salad.u00c2u00a0 All the ingredients paired perfectly with fava making a new dish which I will definitely make again.

Fava Dip and Salad – Recipe, by Ivy

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time:30 minutes




Fava beans



Onion, finely chopped



Olive Oil


Serve with:

Olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, onion, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Extra ingredients:









Red onion






Olive oil









Cucumber, with skin on

Lemon Juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



Soak the fava beans from the previous night. Drain, add fresh water and bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain again.


Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion. Add the fava beans and add water to cover, bring to a boil, add salt and lower heat. Simmer until soft.


Puree the beans and serve adding extra olive oil, lemon juice, salt, freshly ground black pepper, parsley and onion.u00c2u00a0 Serve at room temperature.


To make the salad, microwave or boil potatoes with skin.Peel the potatoes and while still hot, cut into smaller pieces and add the olive oil.u00c2u00a0 Add any of the listed ingredients.

I am sending this recipe to Harini of Tongue Ticklers, who is hosting MLLA – 13, created by Susan, of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Print Friendly

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

19 u00cfu0083u00cfu0087u00cfu008cu00ceu00bbu00ceu00b9u00ceu00b1 on Koukia Xera (Fava)

  1. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 yasmeen u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    The dip reminds me of flavorful hummus,must try next time with Fava.Salad with potatoes sounds hearty :P

  2. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Poornima u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I don’t cook much with beans, but this looks really healthy n delicious. I would love to have what u created with the leftovers.

  3. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Adam u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I’ve recently had a new found love for beans, for a couple of reasons. One, they are really, really, cheap and filling. And second, they have awesome fiber and have been around for ages… I mean thousands of years of eating is hard to forget :)

  4. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Peter G u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I love tuna salads as a nice quick lunch…How wonderful to add the fava mixture Ivy…an idea I will def use!

  5. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Jen of a2eatwrite u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Your timing with this recipe is perfect, Ivy. We have had lots and lots of fave beans in our farm share recently! Both recipes look lovely.

  6. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Choosy Beggar Tina u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I love most beans, but fava are among my FAVA-rite. Yup. I went there. This looks like a simple but delightful dish, Ivy!

  7. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Liz u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    The history you write with your recipes is fascinating! Here is little fact from where I come from. In the North-East of England Fava (split peas) is called pease pudding (we have all sorts of puddings which are not sweet in the UK) and is often spread on a stottie cake (A flat soft bread roll) with cooked ham (often cooked with the peas in the same pan).

    The ham and pease pudding on the soft bread is a delicious combination and whenever I eat fava it reminds me of my childhood!


    Yum yum!

  8. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Your fava dip looks lovely, Ivy! It would make a perfect light, summer meal. Well done! My grandmother used to make fava beans simmered in tomato sauce with potatoes. I always loved them!

  9. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Simona u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    This is so interesting, Ivy. I love fresh fava beans, while I have never cooked dried ones. Your dip looks very appetizing.

  10. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Reeni u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    That is so neat that they were used for counting votes! These both sound so delicious. I love hummus – this looks like a nice alternative.

  11. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Trish Lathourakis u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    When you buy fava beans are they still in their shell, because when I bought and prepared some last week they were and it took over an hour to boil them. I can understand without the shells it would be quick.

    I do like the idea of keeping them slightly chunky in the dip, although when I made mine it was much smoother and not as exciting.

    Next time I will try it your way.

    Thanks : )

  12. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Soma u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Almost like a fava hummus, except more flavors & the potatoes.. sounds awesome.. we are out of fresh fava beans here now.. I never bought the dried ones.


CommentLuv badge
This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)
Get Adobe Flash player

© 2007 - 2014 - All Rights Reserved. All recipes, text and photographs on this site are the original creations and property of the author. Do not post or publish anything from this site without full credit and a direct link to the original post. E-mail me using the contact page with any requests or questions.