Turkish Recipes: A Meze Of Bean Puree

It’s Friday, which means it’s Turkish Food Focus day. It’s only early February, but we’ve already had a diverse mixture of posts, from a tempting photo of tepsi kebab to last week’s post about the Turkish bakeries and their additional treats. We’ll continue with that diversity today because we’ve got a recipe for this week’s offering.

Regular readers will know we’re big fans of meze. Eating out in Turkey is made much more pleasurable when you can go to the glass display fridges and choose an array of meze dishes – usually far too many than you need – or have the waiter come over to your table with a selection for you to choose from. One of our favourites is fava bean purée, known simply as fava, and recently, we’ve been making our own version at home…without fava beans.

A Turkish Recipe For (A Version Of) Fava

You see, the fava bean (or broad bean) is seasonal and they only appear on the big Fethiye market in late spring, early summer. Even then, they’re not abundant – but if you do want to buy them, you need to look out for bakla. But what to do at other times when you feel the need to eat fava…

Turkish Recipe - Bean Puree

A good rinse is essential

‘What to do’ is cheat and use a tin of beans. This recipe is so quick and easy and healthy and moreish – yes, we like it. We’re even struggling to find tinned broad beans in Fethiye so we use standard white beans and they work just as well.

  • First of all, empty one large 800g can of beans into a colander and give them a good rinse. This is important because you need to get rid of the flavours of the liquids they’re preserved in.
  • Leave them to drain and dry out for an hour or so and empty them into a bowl or pan, large enough for mashing.
Turkish Food - Fava

Quick and easy mashing of the beans

At this point, you could use a food processor to purée the beans but, for us, it’s not worth the hassle. You can smash the beans up easily with a potato masher and a fork.

  • Mash the beans until they’re quite smooth.
  • Grate one large clove of garlic and add that to the beans.
  • Now add a glug of good quality olive oil and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.
  • Mix it all up and continue to mash any lumps with a fork.
  • This is optional, by you can add a small pinch of fresh, finely chopped dill at this point. Not too much otherwise the strong flavour will completely overwhelm the delicate flavour of the beans.
  • Taste the purée and add salt and more oil or lemon, depending on your taste.
Turkish Recipe - Fava Bean Puree

Chilli flakes, extra olive oil and lemon juice are a perfect topping

We did say it was easy. That’s it! Spoon the bean purée into ramekin dishes, make a little well around the perimeter and add a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. And of course, sprinkle the top with chilli flakes.

Fava With Lavaş & Turşu

Fava served with lavaş and turşu

As with most Turkish meze dishes, this can be made up beforehand and then added to your impressive meze table when you have lots of people descending on your home for a food fest. It will make a perfect addition to our meze for summer barbecues list.

For now though, it’s winter, so we serve the fava with warm lavaş bread or crusty, toasted bread…and of course, it’s just not a Turkish table without a serving of turşu (pickled vegetables).

Afiyet Olsun!

If you liked this recipe, you’ll probably also want to make one of our other favourite recipes for broad beans

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  1. Love this easy and tasty meze. Fr me this could be a light lunch with some pitas.

  2. @ Bellini: Well, that’s exactly what we’ve just eaten for lunch. Lovely to have meze in the fridge just to pick at. 🙂

  3. It is always nice when your meze are easy to prepare but look like you have put a lot of effort into them! Looks lovely!

  4. @ April: Very true. Great when friends are impressed when all you’ve done is mash a few things together. 🙂

  5. Looks like a different, perhaps even healthier version of hummus! Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  6. This saves all the time it takes to soak dried broad beans.

  7. his looks wonderful! another terrific recipe!

  8. @ Joy: Well to be honest, this recipe is similsr to Barry’s hummus recipe – without the tahin and the chickpeas of course. 🙂

    @ BacktoBodrum: Yeah, we used to use dried beans all the time but gas bottles are getting so expensive, we’ve decided it’s cheaper to buy a tin of beans that someone has already boiled for us. 🙂 Dried beans are a treat, these days.

  9. @ Jaz: It’s yummy. Better with the real thing of course but these beans do the trick out of season. 🙂

  10. Merhaba TFL, I just had to writa and tell you that you really don’t need to soak the dried brad beans before you cook them. They get nice and soft while the whole thing is boiling away. (Even quicker with the pressure cooker.)

  11. @ Engin: Merhaba. Thanks for your tips. Maybe a pressure cooker would be a good idea. We’ve not used any dried beans or chickpeas for a long time just because gas bottles are getting so expensive here and we get through them too quick when we’re simmering beans for so long. 😉

  12. Just found a tin of cannellini beans in the cupboard, may have a go at something similar 🙂

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