Broad Bean, also known in the culinary sense as the Vicia faba, Fava bean, or Faba bean is a species of flowering plant in the pea and bean family Fabaceae. It is widely cultivated as a crop for human consumption. The beans, with the outer seed coat removed, can be eaten raw or cooked. In young plants, the outer seed coat can be eaten, and in very young plants, the seed pod can be eaten.
Broad beans are generally eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or overwintered in a protected location, but even the main crop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer. The immature pods are also cooked and eaten, and the young leaves of the plant can also be eaten, either raw or cooked as a pot herb (like spinach).
Broad beans were a major food of old Mediterranean civilizations, particularly for the Romans and Greeks.Preparing broad beans involves first removing the beans from their pods, then steaming or boiling the beans, either whole or after parboiling them to loosen their exterior coating, which is then removed.
The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory, crunchy snack. These are popular in China, Malaysia, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Gilan and Thailand.In some Arab countries, the fava bean is used for a breakfast dish called ful medames.
Fava beans are common in Latin American cuisines, as well. In central Mexico, mashed fava beans are a common filling for many corn flour-based antojito snacks such as tlacoyos. In Colombia, they are most often used whole in vegetable soups. Dried and salted fava beans are a popular snack in many Latin countries.
Broad beans are widely cultivated in the Kech and Panjgur districts of Balochistan Province in Pakistan, and in the eastern province of Iran. They are called bakalaink in the Balochi language, and baghalee in Persian.