When I posted about the delicious dip called Bissara, quite a lot of you mailed me with the query of how I prepare fava beans. After replying to 3-4 mails, I thought why not make it easier on everyone by making a post about it. Per chance I also happened to have pictures during the process of cooking fava beans previously so I simply consolidated them into this post.
Many think of the lengthy and laborious effort for cooking and preparing fava beans and avoid them, but once you know the process and do it once, you will never think of going past the aisle without buying them. And I have not even come to the part of how deliciously nutty and nutritious these are. So lets get set to the process of Cooking the Fava beans.
How to buy Fava Beans?
Fava beans have an outer pods which are approximately 8 -9 inches long. The fresh ones have a bright green color and are firm to touch. Dont buy the soft or wrinkled/shrunken ones. The outer skin is inedible(duh!)
How to shell Fava Beans?
Snap the end of the Fava bean, near the string side. Give it a light pull. The string will peel down till the end.
Once the string has been removed, you will see the pod parting in the middle and you will see the beans inside.
Usually a healthy pod can contain anywhere between 4-8 beans inside and they will be enclosed in a spongy layer. They come out v easily.
Wait, wait – its not done yet. See the outer smooth covering..well its still not edible. You have to remove it.
To do it, there are two ways – either you can parboil them or if you are bent on retaining the nutrition of this bean like me, then you would steam them. It takes almost less than a minute to make it little shriveled like this above pic.
Now put pressure at the end of the bean, yes shell them once again and you will find the waxy outer cover come out easily. Below is a picture with the completely shelled ones on the left and steamed (to be shelled) ones on the right.
Pull then out and now prepare this in variety of dishes, be it for soup, casseroles, dips,salads or stews. Though its quite a painstaking process, its all worth it