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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Potato Balls Stuffed With Fava Beans: Not Your Usual Potato Balls!

The family being miles away, it has been a very quiet Christmas day for us today. However, there is something in the air on Christmas day, I find, that makes it merry and peaceful. Hopefully, you've all had a wonderful time.

Some fava beans caught my attention at our local supermarket the other day. I don't recall having seen those in the UK or Ireland. In consequence, I had actually never cooked or eaten them before. They look close to a butter bean size-wise with a reddish brown colour.

After a google search for some recipe ideas, I've found them to be used pretty much like most beans, cooked in sauces, pureed as dips or mashed and made into burgers and balls. Well, I thought I'd make use of their size in a recipe rather than mash them all up.

Soaking time took 24 hours, during which I changed the water twice. Then I boiled them for about 20 mins with the skin on. After boiling, I peeled them and tasted one. I would say they are 80% close in taste to a butter bean but with a slightly more nutty flavour.

To save time on this recipe, pre-boil the fava beans and freeze with the skin on until required. Then defrost and warm a little by pouring some boiling water on the beans, allow to cool slightly before peeling. I find that the skins come off easier when the bean is still a little warm.

In this recipe, I've used red potatoes which are slightly on the waxy side. So, this gave these balls a somewhat chewy texture. If you prefer the floury type, baking potatoes might work too but they will need to be more compactly formed into balls for them to hold without breaking when being baked or served.

Potato Balls Stuffed With Fava Beans (Fat-free, Gluten-free)

Ingredients (12 - 14 balls)

5 medium-sized red potatoes (about 350g)
12 - 14 fava beans, boiled and peeled
1 medium-to-large carrot (grated)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

Fresh jalepeno chilies


Add the paprika, cumin and salt to the fava beans, mix well and let sit while preparing the other ingredients. (You can also make this the day before and leave the beans to marinade overnight in the fridge).

Boil potatoes until soft. Peel and mash. Add salt to taste.

Take some of the mashed potato, slightly less than the size of a pingpong ball, roll to form a ball and then flatten a little.
Place 1 bean in the centre and enclose with the potato, forming a ball with the hands.

Roll potato ball in the grated carrot. Press between the hands so that they are well adhered to the potato ball.

Repeat with remaining beans and potato mash. You may need to wash your hands in between a few balls as they will tend to get sticky.

Place on a baking tray over some greaseproof paper. You can brush with some sunflower oil if desired although this is not necessary.

Bake at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Farenheit) for 30 minutes or until slightly firm / crisp on the outside.

A spicy dipping sauce is a good condiment choice to go with these. Tabasco was perfect with these but I found fresh jalepenos gave them a nice kick!
Add a pineapple piece (for some sweetness) and a fresh slice of chili to make these a spicy tasty appetiser at your party.
Have a very Happy Holiday!


  1. What an original recipe! I am so happy to know that you moved in Québec! I hope you like it :)!!

  2. These potato balls look wonderful, and I just love fava beans! I love the pineapple and jalapeño garnish, too. This would make a great party appetizer!

  3. the potato balls look fabulous...fantastic recipe...thanks.


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