July 06, 2010

Baghali Pokhteh - Cooked Fava Beans

I've always loved the taste of fresh and simple باقالی پخته cooked fava beans/broad beans (baghali) with a dash of salt, a sprinkle of groundگلپر golpar (angelica) and a squeeze of fresh lemon. I grew up with fava beans and that's how it was always prepared in our home. Fava bean season is very short but it's worth the wait. They are soft and creamy when cooked and have a nutty flavor and are quite addictive. It's hard to find fresh fava beans in the super markets and vegetable stores where I live, they are mostly available dried.

This is a down-to-earth finger food that you cook and serve to people that you are comfortable around because it may be a little messy removing the layers with your fingers, but that's part of the enjoyment of eating cooked fava beans! My guess is that since fava beans were cooked in large quantities for many people in the past it would have been too time consuming to remove not one but two thick and tough layers of skins, therefore cooking the whole thing all at once was a better option and an easier and quicker way of dealing with these hidden edible treasures. This way, everyone in the family would participate and join in on the fun task of  removing the layers for their own consumption. Thus, this recipe is very easy and there's almost no preparation time besides rinsing them and washing the outer layer under running water, while they are nestled in their waxy pods. However, if you prefer, remove the shells before cooking.

I remember the spring that my parents decided to plant fava beans in our side garden. They grew fast and became tall and beautiful. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, when all the energetic kids on our block came home from school, this fava bean field seemed like such a great place for playing hide-and-seek. The aftermath wasn't pretty though and the ground ended up being covered by ravaged fava bean plants. Let's just say my parents weren't too pleased with what they saw early that evening! That was the last time they planted fava beans in our garden.

Baghali Pokhteh - Cooked Fava Beans

Serves 4-6

2 pounds fresh fava beans in pods
Salt to taste
1-2 tablespoons angelica powder,  It may be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores
1-2 freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Rinse fava beans and place in a large pot. Pour enough water to cover all the beans. 
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 50 minutes or until the beans thoroughly cooked. Add salt to taste in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. Once cooked, drain the water, let cool a few minutes and remove the thick outer layer. Also, as a word of caution, fava beans cannot be eaten raw and need to be fully cooked.
Serve warm on a platter with angelica powder, lemon/lime juice and salt.



  1. hi azita, how are you doing?

    this is very healty snack! where i can find angelica powder? and can i subtitute the powder with a different spice ?

  2. Great recipe, thanks for the tip! My family loves fava beans but podding them takes ages. And we all have fun at eating with our fingers.

  3. Mom, angelica powder can be found in Middle Eastern stores but its use is optional. This information is added to the recipe. Thanks for the question and visiting.

  4. Simple and delicious side dish!

  5. oh looks tasty kind of like edamame

  6. We love fava beans here in Lebanon too and eat them in different versions; i have not seen this version and spice before and you have got me intrigued!

  7. Yummy... I saw some in an organic market recently, I hope they'll still have some left next time I go there!
    At certains moments in my childhood I considered it to be my favorite food. I hope I'll find some golpar too.

    Thanks for sharing all these precious knowledge through your blog. Best regards.

  8. Maryam, thank you! I really appreciate it!

  9. hi is this hamoon baghali that we know it as we used to eat @ dar band?

  10. I found dried fava beans at the grocery store. How can I make this with the dried variety? Do I need to soak it before boiling it? I don't want to completely remove the skin before cooking, but I want to bite it off instead...

    1. Soak the fava beans for at least 6-8 hours, preferably overnight.