Fava Bean Stew (Koukia Yahnista or Yahni)

Fava Bean Stew - Koukia Yahnista

Lynn Livanos Athan

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
206 Calories
14g Fat
16g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 206
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 262mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 22mg 109%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 388mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fava Beans or Broad beans are known as Koukia (koo-KYAH) in Greek. They are delicious prepared yahnista (yach-nee-STAH) or yahni (yach-NEE), which means they are stewed with tomatoes and onions and spices.


  • 1 pound dried fava beans, soaked overnight, see note

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 large onion, or 2 medium onions, diced

  • 1 1/2 pounds diced tomatoes, or 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: Soaking dried beans rehydrates them and results in more tender beans and shorter cooking time. If you don't have an extra day to soak the beans overnight, you can try the quick soak method below.

Quick Soaking Method:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add beans plus enough water to cover beans by 2 inches to a pot.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons salt and stir.

  4. Bring beans to a rolling boil.

  5. Turn off heat, cover, and soak for an hour.

  6. Drain and rinse beans under cold water before using.

Preparing the Stew:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.

  3. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, cumin, and bay leaves and continue to sauté for another 5 to 10 minutes until the flavors are nicely combined.

  5. Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil.

  6. Add the fava beans and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 45 minutes.

  7. Remove the cover and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  8. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are tender cooked but not mushy.

  9. Discard bay leaves.

  10. Serve with a drizzle of your favorite extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

  11. Enjoy!

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