So here’s the story. I had a rather substantial stash of fresh fava beans that was starting to feel like a burden instead of a bounty. It was time to either freeze them or use them, and you know what, I decided to use it all up. But how was I going to cook all these fava beans? Decisions, decisions.
Why not be inventive? I thought. Why not make a khoresh with the fava beans? I thought. Straightway, I was excited to explore the culinary fate of a Persian stew made with fava beans & chicken, balanced with dried dill, and glamorized with saffron.
Then, when I reached inside the fridge to grab my fava bean stash, I was struck by the come-hither beauty of a bunch of velvety apricots, sitting in a red bowl, showing off their gorgeous sunshine-yellow-mixed-with-streaks-of-perfect-blush coloring. And I knew they were delicious. And I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to make the fave bean Persian khoresh with apricots as well? And could not wait to give it a try.
How did it turn out? Really good, I must say. I had my baghali khoresh with Persian rice of course — as a khoresh is meant to be served — and very much enjoyed the flavor combo of the subtle and rich taste of fava beans mixed with the sweet accent of the plump juicy apricots.
But here’s the thing: fava beans, in my opinion, have a dominant umami taste which is a lovely flavor but also a very dignified flavor. In the end, I did feel that the baghali khoresh could use a little something-something to perk it up. Next time I make the fava bean Persian stew I will add a bit of lemon juice mixed with sugar (the lovely secret behind a lot of delicious Persian food) to the stew’s broth as it is cooking to add some sweet tartness to it and brighten everything up and make the flavor more mischievous & flirty.
Want to give my yummy Persian fava bean khoresh a try for yourself? Awesome. Here’s the recipe!
Fava Bean Stew with Apricots | Khoresh ‘e Bagahli with Zardaloo
- 1 large onion
- frying oil
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- a soupcon of saffron dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup hot water
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 full cups fresh spring fava beans (If using frozen ones, thaw them ahead of time.)
- 3 apricots, halved
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried dill (feel free to more if you’re fond of dill)
- Wash chicken. Pat dry. Cut into bite-size chunks.
- Fry onions in a roomy pot. Add turmeric. Add salt.
- Add the chicken. Brown on each side.
- Add saffron dissolved in water, 1 cup of water, salt & bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes covered with the lid.
- Add spring fava beans to the pot with the chicken. Add dill. Bring to a boil (add more water, up to 1 cup, if not enough water) lower heat to simmer, cover the pot with the lid and cook for 40 minutes.
- During this time, heat frying oil in a small skillet, add apricots and sauté apricots briefly on each side. (No longer than a minute or so.)
- Add sauteed apricots to the chicken, cover the pot with the lid, and continue to cook on simmer for approximately 10 or more minutes. Make sure that the fava beans don’t end up overcooked or mushy so do a couple of look-sees during this time to see how they are doing. If fava beans need more time to cook but the apricots are about to be overcooked fish them out and add them back to the pot once the fava beans are fully cooked.
- Fish out & toss out the bay leaves. Your yummy khoresh is now ready to be served and savored!
Traditionally and ideally, serve the fave bean khoresh with rice. And if so, ladle over some stew over the rice and enjoy.
You won’t get in trouble with the law however if you enjoy it simply on its own with maybe some bread and a bit of yogurt. That will be delicious as well and will make your dinner companions sated and satisfied.