Greek Fava Recipe: A Traditional Yellow Split Pea Dip

 Greek fava (φάβα in Greek) is a traditional Greek dish made from yellow split peas. The dish is a type of puree that is typically seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs such as oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. It is commonly served as a meze (appetizer) in Greek cuisine, often topped with caramelized onions and garnished with capers or fresh herbs. 

In Greece, the term "fava" refers specifically to yellow split peas, which are different from the green peas commonly used in other cuisines. Yellow split peas have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture when cooked, making them ideal for purees and soups. The dish is also sometimes called "yellow split pea puree" or "Greek yellow split pea dip" in English-speaking countries.

You can consider this fava bean dip the Greek version of hummus as both are legume-based dips. But, they have some differences in terms of the ingredients used and the preparation method. 

Fava is made from yellow split peas, while hummus is made from chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). Yellow split peas have a milder, sweeter flavor and a creamier texture than chickpeas, so fava tends to have a smoother, silkier texture than hummus.

In terms of the seasoning, fava is typically flavored with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs such as oregano, thyme, and bay leaves, while hummus is often seasoned with tahini (sesame paste), garlic, and lemon juice.

Finally, fava is healthier than hummus, as it is made using yellow split peas. Fava beans are high in protein and low in fat, containing only one gram of fat per 350-calorie serving. Most of the calories come from protein and complex carbohydrates. Fava beans are known to be a natural food source containing some of the highest amounts of dietary fiber. They contain 26 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Fiber is believed to improve digestion and give people a full, satisfied feeling. This alone makes this authentic recipe one of the healthiest you could ever try. 

As a result, Greek fava is a healthy dish that is rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients such as folate, iron, and potassium. It is naturally vegan and gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. 

You can eat this fava dip as a filling snack, a side dish, or even as an entire main course. Fava is served warm or at room temperature, drizzled with olive oil, and garnished with red onion and parsley. People from Santorini enjoy this dip with marinated sardines, octopus salad, smoked mackerel, or marinated anchovies. I, on the other hand, enjoy this dip with some toasted bread or a Greek pita. 

This traditional Greek fava dip recipe comes from the beautiful island of Santorini. There, yellow split peas grow abundantly, and they stand out for their taste and aroma due to the unique soil of Santorini. Fava beans are one of the oldest products of Santorini, along with the grape, as ancient remains have been found in archaeological excavations. 

To make fava you need yellow split peas, red onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, fresh thyme, bay leaf, parsley, salt, and pepper. 

This Greek fava recipe which serves 4 people, takes around 70 minutes to prepare and 60 minutes to cook. If you are a vegan, this is ideal. 

Greek fava recipe

Greek Fava Recipe- Ingredients

  • 225 g of yellow split peas
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 40 ml of Greek olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Red onion
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Greek Fava Recipe- How to Make

  1. Before starting this authentic Greek fava recipe, I suggest you rinse the split peas to remove any residue and set them aside. 
  2. Take a saucepan and heat 2 tbsp of Greek olive oil. Fry the chopped onions until they become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute.
  3. Take another pan and put the split peas, bay leaf, salt, and pepper then add around one liter of water and bring to a boil. 
  4. Cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for 50-60 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the peas have almost disintegrated.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the mixture to a food processor. 
  6. Mix until the peas become smooth and creamy with the consistency of a puree. 
  7. Add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Taste to see if additional seasoning is required. 
  8. Serve warm on a large plate, garnished with red onion slices, a drizzle of olive oil, and chopped parsley.
This dish is easy to make and can be served warm or cold, making it a versatile and delicious addition to any Greek meal. If you like traditional dips, then you should try this authentic skordalia recipe. Enjoy!