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Rice With Fresh Fava Beans

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of


  • 1 pound shelled fava beans
  • Salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or light vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups basmati or American long-grain rice
  • A very large bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 3 ounces butter, cut into pieces, or 4 tablespoons light vegetable oil


Cook the fava beans separately, because you never can be sure how long they will take. In the spring, when they are very young, they cook in hardly any time. As they get older, they can take up to 1/2 hour. You now can sometimes buy them already shelled in supermarkets, but they are easy enough to shell. Most people do not bother to remove the white outer skin, although it is considered more refined without. Boil the beans in a small pan in salted water until tender and drain.

Fry the garlic in the same (dried) pan in the oil until the aroma rises. Add the lemon juice, sugar and beans and cook, stirring, a minute or two, so that they absorb the flavors.

In the meantime, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan, boil plenty of salted water. Throw in the rice, stir, and let it boil hard for about 10 minutes. While the rice is still underdone and a little hard, throw in the dill, stir, then quickly drain in a colander. (A little of the dill will run out with the water but most will stick to the rice, and you will have a beautiful speckled effect.) Pour the rice back in the pan, and stir in the beans and the butter. Put the lid on and steam on a very low flame for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Be careful that it does not burn at the bottom.


Add 14 ounces quartered frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted (or the weight of the package).

For a Persian version, put 1/2 teaspoon saffron powder in the rice water before you throw in the dill.

Serving Size: Serves 6 to 8

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