Tuesday, April 13, 2010

fava beans or bakla ; a bean rich in L-dopa | bakla ki subzi

Bakla in hindi and fava beans or broad beans for the western world, interestingly while trying to find out more about this bean I discovered that it's name is Bakalaink in Balochi language, Baghalee in Persian and  Baqueela in Ethiopia. So the name bakla might be a descendant from these languages and it may be an import from these regions.

The beans should be cooked properly and never be consumed raw as they can cause jaundice like symptoms.

The fava beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used medically in the treatment of parkinson's disease. L-dopa is also a natriuretic agent (causing discharge of sodium through urine) which might help in controlling hypertension.

Bakla is not as tasty and smooth as french beans so most of the people avoid this vegetable, it has a fibrous texture as the skin of the legume is a bit leathery and the seed coat is thick, but the plus point is that the seeds have a buttery smoothness. So when you chew the beans it bursts into a buttery abundance as the seeds are quite plump.

You can choose to buy the tender bakla if you don't like a fibrous bean but the buttery texture of the seeds will be there in the mature beans only. So choose what you like. I like it any which way, just cook it differently and you can enjoy both tender and mature beans.

This recipe is for the mature beans when the skin of the legume is ready to split and slip away exposing the fat plump seeds, full of flavor. I have cooked the curry in a skillet to avoid disintegrating the beans, but if you cook it in a pressure cooker and allow the beans to be pulpy the flavor of the seeds is enhanced, the seeds will be visible in that case as the skin disintegrates exposing the seeds.........


boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes 1 cup
bakla or fava beans tipped n tailed 2 cups
chopped onions 1/2 cup
chopped tomatoes 1/2 cup
ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
coriander powder 2 tsp
cumin and black pepper powders 1 tsp each
      ( i use my everyday curry powder which is a mixture of coriander, cumin , black pepper and bay leaves in 2:1:1:1 ratio)
red chilly powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves 1/4 cup
mustard oil 2 tsp


Steam the bakla to half cook or microwave.

Heat mustard oil in a skillet and fry onions till translucent , add the ginger garlic paste , fry for a while and thorow in all the powdered masala  ...stir and add a dash of water to avoid burning ....scrape and fry ( bhuno ) till the spice mixture become fragrant and shiny.

Add the boiled , cubed potatoes and tomatoes and mix well ...........cook till the tomatoes are mushy....

Add the steamed bakla , mix well adding salt and about half a cup of water and cook covered till done .If cooking in a pressure cooker all the steps will be the same and the cooker lid will be used at this step to cook the subzi under pressure for 5-7 minutes..

A tsp of  amchoor powder can be added if the tomatoes are not sour enough , a little sourness helps with this bean .

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatis .....my above description of the bean seems like a unpleasant vegetable but i love this bean and even if my husband is not very fond of this , he likes it this way ....a light , slightly tangy curry with some mushed up potatoes ..........

This is a good way of cooking bakla or fava beans if you are cooking it for the first time.


  1. This beans is very new to me...dish looks yummm.

  2. I wish I had gotten up the courage to try cooking with fava beans when we are in Brazil. They can be found here, but they were much more easy to find there. This looks delicious!

  3. New to me Sangeetha. Quite informative post too..maybe i should learn to cook more vegetables.

  4. Perfect combo with roti :)
    How are you doing dear?

  5. Perfect combo with rotis!
    How are you doing?

  6. Great to see a post here.....nice subzi & great info....

  7. wow.. this is such a unique recipe.. i love cooking with fava beans, i just find them so difficult to find though, hopefully it should change in spring! welcome back, Sangeeta, we sure all missed you :)

  8. Interesting idea to pair fava beans with potatoes...curry looks good...I'll try this dish and let you know how it came for me :)

  9. Seeing you after long time.. the curry looks so good and I love the combo of fava beans and potato.


  10. Never seen this vegetable before' looks like our beans...when I spot this here, I am going to follow your recipe:)

  11. hey this looks so delicious..very tasty..