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Fava Santorini made with Yellow Split Peas

Despite the name this dish from the Greek island of Santorini is made not with fava beans but with split yellow peas - or more traditionally with a local variety of grass pea, an entirely different species of pulse. Either way it makes a simple but delicious dip.

Fava Santorini using Hodmedod's Yellow Split Peas

Fava Santorini is a simple but delicious dip that evokes the rugged volcanic beauty of the Aegean island of Santorini.

Outside Santorini the dish is most often made with split yellow peas, as in our recipe. Despite the name it is never made with fava beans and references to different ingredients, such as yellow lentils, in some recipes only add to the confusion.

True Fava Santorini is in fact made with a local variety of grass pea, an unusual pulse from an entirely different species of the family of leguminous plants, Lathyrus clymenum. Little grown and hard to find outside Santorini and a few other parts of Greece, this pulse is known locally by the same name as the dish, Fava Santorini. But Split Yellow Peas make an excellent substitute!


  • 200g Split Yellow Peas - or Lathyrus clymenum if available - soaked for 4 hours
  • ½ Red Onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Flaked Sea Salt
  • ½ Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Water as required
  • Olive Oil, Capers and sliced Onion Rings to finish


  1. Rinse the split peas well and place in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and then simmer on a moderate heat for 20 to 40 minutes until the peas are tender but still intact (the cooking will vary according to the peas and your water hardness), checking that the water does not evaporate and topping up with extra water if necessary.
  2. Add one diced red onion and two tablespoons olive oil and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes until the peas are cooked but not too mushy.
  3. Roughly mash the mixture and leave to cool.
  4. Before serving, stir in more olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with extra oil, top with the sliced onion rings and capers.
  5. Serve cold or warm with vegetable croutons, toasted pitta bread or even fava flatbreads!

Sue Hudson
Sue Hudson


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