Fava Bean and Dill Khoresh

Khoresh is a Persian word meaning stew. Much like making stews, there are many ways of making khoresh. The main ingredients are meat (chicken, lamb, beef, duck), beans (chickpeas, white broad beans, fava beans), and vegetables (onions, carrots). Additional flavour comes from spices (saffron, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, pepper), sweet / acidic seasonings (quince, rosewater, orange blossom water, dried fruit, pomegranate seeds/ molasses, citrus, sour grape juice), and,/ or nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachio).

I love blending ingredients to create a harmonious chorus of savory, sweet, and acidic flavours, which I think is what khoresh strives to achieve.

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I found the necessary ingredients at Persia Foods in Vancouver. I tried to follow the original recipe since I’m very new to cooking Persian food.

My end product was a decent 3/5. This dish had a good balance between the earthiness from the turmeric and the acidity from the verjuice (unripe grape juice). Flavours of dill stood out prominently against a background of sweet caramelized onions and fragrant rosewater. One thing that I would change is the fava beans–maybe fresh or frozen (which were called for by the original recipe) would’ve had a milder aftertaste. I also found the skin of the beans to be a bit tough. I wonder if this was due to the acidity from the verjuice: cooking beans in acid can prevent the skin from softening. But that doesn’t really make sense because the beans were already cooked when they were purchased in a can… Overall, this dish was a welcome change in my routine, but it needs a few modifications before I would consider adding it to my repertoire.
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Fava Bean and Dill Khoresh

Recipe modified from: http://www.najmiehskitchen.com/pdf/fol_favabeankoresh.pdf

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5-2 cups water
  • 1 can fava beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped dill (I used the fronds from one large bunch)
  • 1/4 cup verjuice (unripe grape juice)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2-4 eggs

Method

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute onions in oil until caramelized.
  2. Add garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric, saute for 2 minutes more. Add water and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put rosewater in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 20 seconds until hot. Add saffron to the rosewater and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add fava beans, chopped dill, verjuice, saffron and rosewater to the onion mixture, simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat oil over medium and fry the eggs until desired doneness.
  6. Taste the stew, adjust salt and seasonings as needed. Serve with fried eggs on top.
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8 thoughts on “Fava Bean and Dill Khoresh

  1. I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s
    fine, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…

      1. Well, I find the garlic cloves flavor very strong. Garlic salt quenches your craving for garlic and is not strong either.

  2. Khoresht is the word for stew, you need a “T” at the end there. This is actually not a Khoesht. Why? Khoesht means a stew with meat. Khorack is what this is. It means a vegetable dish (braised) or stew. I wouldn’t use the verijuice or the rosewater in this recipe at all. Try it again but this time brown the onions add tumeric, salt, and pepper. Add in the beans and garlic and dill. I use fava beans, with both shells offf. That’s all. Just very simple. Then do the egg on top. It’s very fresh and yummy. Alternately skip the egg and let it cool, then couple it with some yummy yogurt and eat it with lavash bread.

    1. Hi Layla!
      Thanks for your suggestions! I’ve never cooked Persian food before so I just picked a recipe that looked interesting. I did hear similar feedback from a friend who said that rosewater is an unusual ingredient. Also, I didn’t know verijuice had to be refrigerated after opening, so my whole bottle turned moldy and I had to threw it away, opps! Maybe I’ll give your recipe a shot soon. 🙂

  3. Hi Cathy,
    Persian food can be great when cooked right. We use a lot of very strong spices, herbs and ingredients. But unlike Afghan or Indian food that uses similar spices in great concentration per recipe with Persian food usually only one or two of the ingredients are very strong and the rest of the ingredients are there to highlight those. With the Fava Beans you want to highlight the beans leave them the star, so the dill and garlic are enough there to do that. Anything stronger and the beans get lost.

    I saw this on Pinterest and thought of you. I personally haven’t used any of the recipes posted before but the dishes are nice ones when made right. http://www.topinspired.com/top-10-best-persian-recipes/

    I like the Turmeric and Saffron blog and use it as a check in when my memory of how to make something abandons me and she hasn’t let me down.

    I think your food adventures are very fun though, and look forward to hearing what you do next!

    1. Hi Layla, All the photos in the link look amazing! I’ve bookmarked it for another time and I’ll try to make something from it 🙂 I really like the Turmeric and Saffron blog as well, it’s good to have trustworthy guides when exploring unknown cuisines!

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