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Shared by Léa Karsenty

Cumin Fava Beans

Yield: 1 quart, serving 4-6Time: 40 MIN

Shared by Léa Karsenty

Sauteed fava beans coated in spices in white bowl.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Cumin Fava Beans

Yield: 1 quart, serving 4-6Time: 40 MIN

Family Journey

Figuig, MoroccoMecheria, AlgeriaOran, Algeria
Toulouse, FranceParis

In this recipe from Léa Karsenty’s family, fresh fava beans are tossed with garlic, cumin, and paprika, then seared off with apple cider vinegar. When using fresh favas, look for pods that are firm and plump, with a bright green color. If you can’t find fresh favas, use frozen. Either will yield tasty, addictively spiced beans. 

Read more about the Karsenty family’s pre-fast Yom Kippur spread in "How a Family of Strong Women Spends Yom Kippur in Toulouse," and try their recipes for fried eggplant with preserved lemon, red chicken loubia, and saffron chicken broth with toasted pasta and vegetables.


  • 2 lbs. (6 cups) small, fresh fava beans, removed from pod (or equal amounts frozen fava beans)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt 
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Step 1

    Remove the fava beans from their shells. Set a steamer in a pot atop 2” boiling water and place the beans in the steamer. Cook them until they are tender, 10-15 minutes depending on size. Remove from the heat. Peel and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic to the oil and cook until fragrant and lightly golden, 1-2 minutes. Add the fava beans, cumin, paprika and sea salt to the pan and stir together until combined.

  • Step 3

    Add the apple cider vinegar and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until there is no liquid left in the pan. When the favas are fully dried, remove from the heat. Serve warm.