Baghali - Fava beans with vinegar and golpar powder
Side Dishes Snacks Uncategorized Vegetarian

Baghali – Persian Fava Beans

Baghali is in season here in the UK and so I just had to take advantage of that! Fava beans or broad beans, as they are called where I live are a popular legume in Persian cuisine. They are used in Baghali Polo, a delicious rice dish, but we also enjoy them on their own with vinegar and golpar, Persian hogwort seeds.

In winter in Iran fava beans were one of the street foods, sold by baghali foroosh ha, fava bean sellers out of a street food cart. The steaming hot beans sprinkled with golpar powder were exactly what one craved on a cold winter’s day. My fellow Iranians will surely have a similar nostalgic image in mind when thinking of baghali.

So, in Iran Baghali are usually enjoyed this way in the colder months of the year. However, since it is broad bean season here in the UK I thought now is the perfect time. I wouldn’t recommend it on a hot summer’s day but we get plenty of chilly summer days here, so why not make the most of these farm fresh baghali now?

Baghali - Fava beans with vinegar and golpar powder

Cooking time: approx. 30 min

Ingredients

Fresh broad beans / fava beans

Vinegar of choice (I used red wine vinegar)

Golpar powder (Persian hogwort seeds, ground)

Salt to taste

Method

Wash the the broad beans and cook them in their pods in simmering water for about 30 minutes. The broad beans I used were small and so this was enough cooking time. If you are cooking larger ones you may need to increase the cooking time. Open a pod and taste or cut open one of the beans after 30 minutes to see if they need longer. The inside (inside of each individual bean) should be nice and soft.

Once cooked, drain the broad beans. You can eat the whole pods or remove the beans and only eat those. I like to eat the beans separately and suck out only the inside. This is tricky with these small beans, so this time I ended up eating the beans whole, with a spoon.

Serve the fava beans with vinegar and sprinkle them with golpar powder. Golpar powder comes from Persian hogwort seeds, which are ground into powder form. It works in a similar way as caraway, preventing bloating from eating too many beans. Apart from that it adds a distinct savoury flavour to the beans. For us Iranians these two ingredients go hand in hand.

You may wonder what the red powder in the picture is. It’s sumagh (sumac), a powder made of dried sumagh berries, commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Sumagh is not usually served with baghali but if you like it extra sour, you can add it for another tangy taste in the mix. With its berry red colour picking up the red of the vinegar and contrasting the green of the beans I mainly used it to please our eyes though.


Baghali – Persian Style Fava Beans

Course Snack
Cuisine Persian
Keyword baghali, broad beans, fava beans
Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Hami

Ingredients

  • Fresh broad beans / fava beans
  • Vinegar of choice (I used red wine vinegar)
  • Golpar powder (Persian hogwort seeds, ground)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and cook the broad beans in their pods in simmering water for about 30 minutes. The broad beans I used were small and so this was enough cooking time. If you are cooking larger ones you may need to increase the cooking time. Open a pod and taste or cut open one of the beans after 30 minutes to see if they need longer. The inside (inside of each individual bean) should be nice and soft.

  2. Once cooked, drain the broad beans. You can eat the whole pods or remove the beans and only eat those. I like to eat the beans separately and suck out only the inside. This is tricky with these small beans, so this time I ended up eating the beans whole, with a spoon.

  3. Serve the fava beans with vinegar and sprinkle them with golpar powder. Golpar powder comes from Persian hogwort seeds, which are ground into powder form. It works in a similar way as caraway, preventing bloating from eating too many beans. Apart from that it adds a distinct savoury flavour to the beans. For us these two ingredients go hand in hand.

  4. Enjoy this Persian way of eating fava beans!

Baghali - Broad beans with vinegar and golpar powder

This can hardly be called a recipe but I hope you enjoyed learning about the Persian way of eating fava beans or simply taking a trip down Persian memory lane with me!

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, I’m always happy to help. Also let me know what your favourite memory around baghali is. I’d love to hear from you!

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Looking for more Persian recipes? Here are my Persian classics!

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Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!

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