Fava Bean Stew

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


The recipe for this popular Egyptian morning dish is based on one that appears in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden (Alfred A. Knopf, 2000).


  • 2 cups small brown Egyptian fava beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 14 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 14 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste


Step 1

In a large bowl, cover the fava beans with 6 cups water and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2

Drain fava beans and transfer to a 2-quart saucepan along with the garlic, cumin, chile flakes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the liquid has thickened, about 2 1⁄2 hours.

Step 3

Mash about one-third of the beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to help thicken the stew. Season with salt. Drizzle extra water into stew if it becomes too thick.

Step 4

Divide the stew between 4–6 bowls. Garnish each with some of the cilantro, parsley, scallions, tomatoes, and lemons. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with flatbread, if you like.

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