If you read the last post then you know that I had a surfeit of fresh fava beans that I had a yen to use up instead of freezing, so I ended up having a fava-bean-centric diet for a week and ate everything from Persian edamame (that’s why I like to call the steamed fava beans, here’s the recipe); to fava bean kateh (made this yummy little thing a couple of times because Persian rice and tadig are always a good idea); and the fava beans and apricots stew (turned out really good, here’s the recipe.) But I still had a bunch of fava beans left and was stumped what to make next. I hit up my favorite Persian cookbook for inspiration and came across a fava bean recipe from the ancient fortress city of Shushtar for making “borani” which is a vegetarian genre of Persian food made simply from a combination of yogurt + some type of vegetable.
I LOVE anything with yogurt and I always have really good thick and creamy yogurt in the fridge that I buy from my neighborhood deli slash dairy who make their own yogurt and it’s quite tasty. I also have a neighborhood bakery like 20 steps outside of my home that sells wonderful barbari bread fresh from the oven every morning, noon, and dusk so getting delicious fresh bread to go with the borani would not be a hitch. Bonus points: borani dishes are super easy to prepare and a great way to eat your veggies because the creamy yogurt & seasoning makes even the wretched zucchini taste yummy! (You should really really but really try the zucchini borani. You’ll thank me, I promise.)
So, it was a no brainer to try out the fava bean borani for the first time.
I made a few changes to the original Shushtari recipe to suit my preferences and I’m very happy to share this revised fava bean borani recipe with you because it’s an easy, healthy and delicious way to cook fresh or frozen fava beans.
Recipe: Fava Bean Yogurt Dip | Baghali Borani
Light Main Dish or Side Dish or Dip
perfect for summer
- 3 cups fava beans (fresh or frozen)
- Frying oil of your choice (I like to use olive oil)
- 1 large onion
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- Dried dill
- 1/4 cup water
- Greek yogurt (thick yogurt)
- Saffron (a soupcon of saffron is optional but quite wonderful)
- Place fava beans in a roomy pot, add enough water to cover 2 inches over the beans, bring to a rapid boil on high heat. While getting to the boiling watch and skim the foam.
- Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer with a covered lid for 20-25 minutes. You want to cook fava beans till they are more cooked than al dente but not yet fully cooked so do use a fork to periodically check on the fava beans a few times during this time.
- Drain fava beans in a colander and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain again and set aside to cool off.
- In a roomy skillet, heat frying oil on high heat till sizzling. Yeah, baby! Add onions, stir, lower heat to medium and continue to fry onions for at least 5 minutes till softened. Add garlic and salt and turmeric and continue to stir and fry for 3-5 more minutes till everything is mixed well and onions are perfectly sauteed. Add more frying oil if necessary.
- Add fava beans to the skillet, sprinkle with dill, turn up the heat, stir and saute for a minute or so. Add 1/4 cup water. Lower heat to medium and cook for a full 5 minutes or longer till fava beans are tenderly soft but not falling-apart-mushy.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool off.
When ready to serve, fill a serving bowl with fava beans and top with as much yogurt as you see fit. Sprinkle some ground saffron now as well if you’re feeling sassy and fancy but no big deal if you don’t feel like it. Use a serving spoon to give the yogurt and fava beans a nice swirl to mix.
You could also serve the yogurt and the fava beans in separate bowls if you prefer free will to predestiny.
Enjoy the yummy baghali borani with some bread as this light and healthy fare pairs well with most types of bread.
Make it, Eat it, and Nooshe’ Jaan!