Fava beans are native to the Middle East, and archeological evidence indicates that they were domesticated at least 9,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cultivated crops!
Use quickly spread through Asia, southern Europe and North Africa, where it is still populare today.
The fava pod looks a bit like the green pea, but inside are six to eight beans that look like lima beans. The pods are edible when young, mut most people wait until the bean mature.
The U.S. has many fava bean fields, primarily in New Jersey and California.
This dish is sometimes called “Egyptian Chili” (at least that’s how it appeared on the menus in Cairo) and is said to have been a favortie of King Ramses III.
SPICED FAVA BEANS
1 can (16 oz.) fava beans
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tomato diced**
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 t. cumin
1/4 c. parsely, chopped
4 T. lemon juice
Pinch chili pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Add bean to pot and haeat according to package directions. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, adjusting seasoning to taste. Served with pita bread.
**A more authentic version can be made by leaving out the tomato. Many cooks also skip the onion and opt for a bit of minced garlic instead.