Pea, Broad bean and Mint Risotto with Seared Salmon, recipe below. Photo from (Rhi’s Foodie World)
Sources tell us that 1/3 of all enslaved African died during the middle passage. Those in charge of the voyages did take measures to insure the survival of their profitable human cargo. This included procuring traditional foods such as rice and beans that enslaved Africans would eat and African women to work in the ships kitchen to prepare cheap but nutritious meals. “The diet of the Negroes on board is a sort of pulp, composed o[f] rice and horse [fava or broad]-beans, with yams, boiled and thickened to a proper consistency, which is called a Dab-a-Dab, sometimes with meat in it, to this there is added a sauce, called flabber-sauce by the sailors,” says a source dated 1788. “This food is accounted more salutary [healthy] and nearer to their accustomed way of feeding than salt flesh [likely salted fish].” Fava beans with rice were both cheap and nutritious but fava beans did not seem to be a West or Central African staple. References today point to recipes from North Africa and the Middle East. Fava beans are one of my favorite beans that can be prepared in a number of delicious ways including simply as rice and beans.
Here are nine fava bean recipes: http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0506b.htm