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Fava Bean & Lentil Stew

a bowl of food on a plate

Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor 

Nothing satisfies in cooler weather quite like dal, the quintessential aromatic spice-laden lentil stew of India. Dal transforms in flavor and add-ons based not just on availability but on region, family traditions and personal preferences. Some will add vegetables, some coconut, some tomatoes — some people even add chunks of meat. Dal can be made with lentils, split peas, whole dried beans or fresh beans. 

Last week at the newly renovated Houston Farmers Market on Airline Drive, I spotted bags of fresh fava beans, out of sync with their normal spring season. Fava beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants, with evidence of their existence going back to 6000 B.C. A soft yet hearty bean, the favas made a delicious base for dal. You could also use black-eyed peas for the new year. 

Read More  |  Recipe: India1948