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.
Spicy Fava Bean and Eggplant Stew
- 3 cups fava beans (cooked or canned. Drain before using)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 small Italian eggplant , cut into ¾-inch chunks. Or use 2-3 Japanese or Chinese eggplants.
- 2 medium potatoes , skin on, cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 1 green bell pepper , cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 1 red bell pepper , cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- ½- 1 teaspoon cayenne or paprika for less heat (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 scallions (scallions), white and green parts chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 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 scallions and cilantro and mix in.