The word fava comes from favus which is the latin word for broad beans. If one looks up fava recipes on the internet you’ll notice that they almost all use the pale green broad beans (fava beans). However, Greeks decided (I assume a very time ago?!) to refer to their yellow split pea meze recipe as fava. Regardless of names and history, the dish is delicious especially if you get your hands on Santorinian fava (yellow split peas) which is fairly expensive as it is quite difficult to collect. In addition, don’t forget that your dietician would highly recommend adding pulses/grain legumes to your weekly diet!
500 gr yellow split peas
1 litre water
1 medium sized onion (white, yellow, or red)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp capers
½ onion chopped
juice of ½ lemon
Making fava is one of those recipes that, although very simple to make, might not come out great the first time. One usually has to make it 2-3 times to really get the knack of it and to figure out the peculiarities of the recipe.
So, wash the peas well in a colander with small holes under running cold water and place in a non stick saucepan with the litre of water. It is better to use less water at first and as the peas cook and absorb it one can add more later as needed.
Place the whole onion and olive oil in the saucepan and mix.
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for about 1 hour. Please note that the time needed may vary depending on the quality of the peas.
You will probably have to skim the froth from the surface of the simmering peas. As the cooking progresses you may have to add water. The desired consistency is that of a fairly thick soup.
Once the peas are cooked (should be smooth and not crunchy) one can either remove the onion or mince it up and mix well with the fava. Some people wiz the fava in a mixer to make it extra smooth while others will leave it as is.
Add lemon juice and seasoning to taste and garnish with capers, chopped onions and olive oil when serving.