Chocos con Habas

Fresh Cuttlefish with Minty Broad Beans


Preparation info

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  • Media Ración


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By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

There is a tension between tradition and invention, one pulling back and holding on to the past, the other pushing forward, adventuring into unexplored territory. At MoVida, when we explore new culinary ideas we pay deep respect to the past and this dish is the perfect example. In the traditional Andalusian version, the cuttlefish and beans are slowly braised in a wine sauce but we have given this dish a lighter touch. All respect to tradition, but seared cuttlefish has a flavour of its own and fresh broad beans have a light vitality to them that doesn’t survive the traditional cooking method.

In fact, once you have tried this, you may like to adapt this recipe yourself and cook the spiced marinated cuttlefish on the barbecue to give it a smoky flavour. You’ll join the long line of people throughout history who have appreciated the fact that cuttlefish and broad beans, despite their different backgrounds, were meant for each other.


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cuttlefish, body only (no wings or tentacles), cleaned (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 300 g (10½ oz) broad (fava) beans, shelled
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ajo y perejil
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 6 vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned, seeded diced and drained
  • 1 handful mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
  • sea salt flakes


Cut the cuttlefish into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares. Put in a large bowl with the paprika, cumin and extra virgin olive oil. Mix thoroughly, cover and leave in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Blanch the broad beans in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the beans and refresh in chilled water. Take the outer skin off the beans by pinching the skin off one end and gently squeezing the inner beans out. Discard the skins and put the beans in a large bowl.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Sear the cuttlefish in three batches for 30–45 seconds each side, or until browned, adding more oil if needed. Return all the cuttlefish to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle with the ajo y perejil.

Squeeze the juice of one of the lemons into the pan. Allow to simmer slowly for about 4 minutes, or until the cuttlefish becomes opaque through to the centre and is tender to the bite (it should be firmer than calamari). Put the cooked cuttlefish on a warm plate covered with foil in a low oven.

Put the tomato in a bowl, then add the broad beans, the juice of the other lemon and mix through. Add the mint, sherry vinegar and the warm cuttlefish and toss. Season with some sea salt flakes and a pinch of black pepper to taste and toss again. Serve warm.