Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Fava Bean Stew – Koukia Yahnista or Yahni

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

Fava Bean Stew - Koukia Yahnista or Yahni

Fava Bean Stew – Koukia Yahnista or Yahni

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6 – 8 servings


  • 1 lb. dried Fava beans, soaked overnight (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. diced tomatoes (substitute a 28 oz. can, drained)
  • 1 cup diced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


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:

Add beans plus enough water to cover beans by 2 inches to a pot. Add 2 tbsp. salt and stir. Bring beans to a rolling boil. Turn off heat, cover, and soak for an hour. Drain and rinse beans under cold water before using.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, cumin, and bay leaves and continue to saute for another 5 – 10 minutes until the flavors are nicely combined.

Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the Fava beans and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 45 minutes.

Remove the cover and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer another 10 – 15 minutes until the beans are tender cooked but not mushy.

Discard bay leaves. Serve with a drizzle of your favorite extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

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