Gambilya Paste / Fava

During our trip to the Greek Islands the lentil paste (Fava) we had at Mama's House in Santorini, Oia was delicious. I had to try making it. Coming back home I came across the the yellow lentils (gambilya) I was looking for at the Bazaar in Yalıkavak. As with most legumes these are also  are packed with proteins and minerals and fibre. This gambilya is used in making fava and soup in Bodrum and all around. When we think about Fava the first thing that comes to our mind is broad beans of course but having a latin background all pastes of this kind were named Fava in Ottoman Cuisine in İstanbul. Follow the same recipe with broad beans!


  • 2 cups yellow lentils (gambilya)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 large onion
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sugar cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

How To:

Wash the lentils well and soak in 3 cups of water in a pot for 3-4 hours. Peel and quarter the onion and add to the pot. Brown the garlic in two tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic cloves, sugar,  salt and pepper to the lentils and boil until softened and no water left.

Using a food processor pure the lentil mixture, add the rest of the olive oil, turmeric, lemon juice and peel. Stir well. Place it in an oiled round cake pan. Smooth the top and let sit for couple of hours in the refrigerator. When serving turn it upside down on to a platter and garnish with caramelized onions and capers.

Caramelized Onions:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • capers

Slice the onions thinly and  brown them with sugar in olive oil until the onions are caramelized.





Baglan veya Yeni Kayit

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