Recipe: Split Fava Dhal

We spied a packet of dried fava beans in Seasons in Exeter. Kate asked me if I could make something with them. I mean in theory I guess. I’ve been trying to get more pulses into our diets and my main method has been dhal. Now here was Kate asking me to cook some pulses and I was just shrugging. Never made a fava dhal.

First a note on the beans themselves. They are produced by Hodmedods who grow beans here in the UK which is pretty cool. It’s always exciting to try things that are new to us, especially if they are grown in Yorkshire.

So how to make these new to us pulses into a dhal we’d both enjoy? I looked to my cookbooks. I wanted a recipe to use as my base but I knew that the fava beans would bring their own distinctive taste. I went for the Thomi Mahaar Dhal from one of my favourite books Cooking Like Mummyji. I simplified a little, left it a little wet, and changed the pulses from urid to fava. Lets go!

1 cup split fava beans

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons oil

One medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

Half of a 400g can of tomatoes, blended

1 tablespoon of ginger, minced

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon asfoetida

1. Bring the split fava beans to boil in 2 cups of water. Add the salt and turmeric. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for an hour, stirring every so often. Add more water if the pan gets too dry.

2. Keep the beans on a low heat while you fry the topping. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and garlic and fry until golden, reduce the heat and add the spices and tomatoes.

3. Fry until the oil begins to come through, making the sauce look nice and shiny.

4. Put the beans into the serving dish and pour the stuff in the frying pan on top.


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