Thursday, October 22, 2009
As the weather cools down, I get a craving for those chunky, hunky, red-blooded stews that get all my juices flowing.
My Fava Bean and Eggplant Stew is a perfect blend of deliciousness and nutrition and it is full-bodied enough to satisfy any appetite, especially when paired off with a bowl of rice or a crusty bread.
What I love about this stew is that is it stuffed with veggies: although I mention only eggplant in the title, there are green and red peppers, tomatoes, spring onions and potatoes in here. If you desire, you could even toss in some mushrooms or carrots or sweet potatoes or onions.
The fava beans, which are buttery and velvety, break down in the stew and thicken it. The veggies add plenty of texture as well as a bouquet of flavors.
Busy day ahead, so goodbye for now. And don't forget to cook up some stew tonight!
Fava Bean and Eggplant Stew
1 cup dry fava beans, soaked for an hour at least, then covered with water and cooked until tender (I like to pressure-cook them)
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small eggplant or half of a really large one, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 medium potatoes, skin on, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 cups crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
1/2- 1 tsp red chilli powder, like paprika (if you're really brave, you might try adding one chipotle chili in adobo sauce instead. It gives the stew a rich, smoky flavor that I happen to love but it will get your blood boiling. Literally.)
4 spring onions (scallions), white and green parts chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds, then add the potatoes and continue to cook, over a medium-low flame, about 4-5 minutes until they begin to color just slightly. Keep stirring to ensure the garlic does not burn.
Add the eggplant and stir for another 2 minutes. Now add the bell peppers and salt and stir to combine.
Add the tomato puree, garam masala and turmeric, if using. Stir well and allow the puree to cook for about 5 minutes or until it starts to express the oil.
Add the fava beans with any remaining cooking water and stir well to combine. Add water if the stew is too thick. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat so the stew just simmers, and let it cook 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are really tender.
Check salt and turn off the heat. Add the spring onions and coriander and mix in.
For other screaming-hot and delicious stews and curries that are perfect in fall, try my Chana Masala or my Garlic and Lemon Rasamor, one of my favorites, My Dad's Not-Mutton Mushroom Curry.