Greek Yellow Split Pea Purée- Fava

Many cultures have their own special version of puréed beans or legumes: Israel (and many other countries) claim hummus, India has dal, Morocco has Bissara, etc., etc. So how to describe this Greek version?  Well, It’s sort of similar to hummus, the bean purée most Americans are most used to, but it actually uses yellow split peas, not garbanzo beans.  Just to make things seem more complicated than they really are, this dip is known as fava in Greece.  But no, there aren’t any fava beans in there.

Rather than being served as a dip, this puree is generally served as a side to meat, fish or vegetable dishes.  I particularly liked it as a side to chicken souvlaki (recipe to come later this week).  Healthy, creamy, comfort food at its best.


Greek Yellow Split Pea Purée- Fava


* 1-1/4 cups dried yellow split peas
* 3 shallots, diced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* salt and pepper
* chopped fresh oregano, to serve


Rinse the split peas and put in a large saucepan and over with several inches of cold water. Bring to a boil on the stove top, and then reduce heat and simmer, skimming if necessary, until the peas are very soft.

While the peas are cooking, heat one Tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute the shallots and garlic until lightly browned. Remove from heat.

Drain the cooked peas, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the peas to a food processor or high speed blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Add the shallots, garlic and any of the cooking oil. Also add the remaining olive oil. and lemon juice and process until smooth. Add a little of the reserved bean liquid if you'd like a thinner consistency.

Add the green onions, thyme and stir by hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a bowl and top with oregano and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

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5 Responses to “Greek Yellow Split Pea Purée- Fava”

  1. #
    Peggy — September 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I love the flavor of split peas but have never had it in this form! Sounds really tasty =)


  2. #
    Jay — September 16, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Fava is a summertime favorite at my house because it is so super duper easy and my husband LOVES it. Here's how I do it: I do use dried, shelled fava beans which have, I think, a deeper, earthier flavor than split peas. Boil and skim as you describe allowing liquid to boil off. I then blend with an immersion blender and add salt and probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup good Greek olive oil. Pour into serving bold and allow to set a bit. Cut a small to mediujm red onion into a tiny dice and sprinkle on top.


  3. #
    Jay — September 16, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Whoops…my comment got cut off. I top w/ the diced red onion, small capers and a drizzle of oil. Yum!


  4. #
    CATE — September 16, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Peggy- I've actually only eaten yellow split peas in dals before… what a shame! They're so versatile.

    Jay- thanks for the serving suggestions. I bet the red onion and capers not only make it even prettier, but add another pop of flavor and texture.

    Thanks to you both for stopping by and taking the time to comment :)


  5. #
    janet @ the taste space — September 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I am so glad you explained the fava conundrum! I am lovin split peas at the moment, so this looks like a great variation to try next. :)


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