12 October 2017
There are a lot of similarities between Turkish and Greek cuisine with both claiming baklava as their own and many other shared dishes, but there are also some striking differences. One variation we’ve noticed on our travels around Turkey and Greece has been with the dish known as fava in both countries.
Last week we featured Turkey’s take on fava, made with broad beans, so this week we’re going to balance things up and have a look at Greece’s take on this dish, which is made with yellow split peas.
These dried peas proved quite hard to track down in Turkey – most supermarkets don’t stock them, but we eventually found them on sale in Datça market, mixed in with a few lentils and whole grains for good measure!
Greece’s version of this dish is runnier than Turkey’s, more like a hummus consistency, so it’s more suitable to use as a dip or spread. We’ve added some sumac to bring together these two esteemed cuisines in a spirit of gastronomic entente cordiale!
Ingredients (makes 6-8 healthy servings)
250 g yellow split peas, soaked in cold water for 1-2 hours
One medium red onion
One garlic clove
One teaspoon dried thyme
25 ml olive oil
500 ml water
Juice of one lemon
Pinches of salt and black pepper
Use a pinch of sumac, slices of red onion and a squeeze of lemon juice to garnish the fava
Fry the finely chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium to high heat until the onions start to caramelise. Add the split peas and thyme, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Pour in the water, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so until all the liquid is absorbed.
Allow the cooked mixture to cool for ten minutes and then use a hand blender to make it into a smooth paste. As you’re blending the mix, add the lemon juice to give it a creamier consistency.
Use a pinch of sumac, slices of red onion and a squeeze of lemon juice to garnish the fava and then serve warm with crusty bread and a green salad.