You may notice that there are not many vegetarian recipes on Thousand Caminos. That is mainly due to the fact that for the longest time I was anti-vegetarian recipes. In my mind, I could not fathom how anyone could possibly eat any meal without meat! Fast forward a few years later, and I have been loving the idea of meat-free meals for two main reasons.
First, meat-free is healthy (not healthier but healthy!) and easy on the bank account. Meat in London is so expensive, especially halal meat. Plus it is a 25-minute bus ride to the nearest halal butcher. On days when I haven’t done the meat shopping, I want a meal that is healthy and filling, but not pasta.
Second, vegetarian dishes that come from different cultures (Persian, Indian, Greek etc…) are actually insanely delicious. And as I get older, my taste buds have become more refined and I enjoy meals that feature different and completely vegetarian ingredients. Persian Fava Bean Stew is the perfect example of a healthy, delicious and easy to make vegetarian dish!
I haven’t given up meat entirely. I can’t – it is ingrained in me to always eat meat. I LOVE MEAT. However, I have warmed up to the idea of having one or two vegetarian meals a week. Why? Well, thanks to Half Baked Harvest. Her recipe for Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew looked SO appetizing I just had to try it. However, halfway through cooking the meal I realized that I didn’t have half the ingredients she had. The most important one being chickpeas. Instead, I had fava beans. Thus my recipe for Persian Fava Bean Stew is inspired by the lovely HBH. I am looking forward to incorporating more vegetarian meals into my diet!
creamy fava beans. fragrant herbs. rice.
Inspired by Half Baked Harvest's Persian Chickpea Herb Stew - this recipe swaps the much-used chickpeas for fava beans, offering a creamy & tender alternative!
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown. Toss in the minced garlic and give a quick stir. Add the fava beans and season with salt and pepper. Stir the fava beans and onions, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest.
Add 2 cups broth. If you like a more liquidy consistency you can add more broth. Squeeze fresh lemon juice, and season with salt, if needed. Bring the mix to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the chopped cilantro, parsley, and dill. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste, adjusting salt and pepper as needed. I find that adding fresh herbs gives the right amount of flavour!
Divide the rice among bowls and ladle the stew over top. Top with yogurt and serve with some warm pita bread.
* Fava beans should be right next to the chickpeas at your local grocery store. You can also find Fava beans at any Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store.
** You can taste the chili flakes in this recipe (I love it!). If you cannot handle spice, omit it entirely or reduce the am0unt to 1/4 tsp. I find the red pepper flakes adds a nice flavour profile to the dish.