Difficulty: Easy but long cooking time
A winter dish in Tunisia. The flavors are robust, spicy hot, and the resulting ragoût is syrupy. My recipe uses canned cooked chickpeas and fava beans and is an adaptation of a preparation I once ate cooked by the Tunisian chef Jaouida Farah. If you decide to use dried beans they need to be soaked no less than 24 hours to use in this recipe. The kind of fava bean used in this recipe is a small round type known as fūl hammām or “bath fava.” The cans sold in markets are likely to be labeled “foul medammes.” Both the dried hammām fava and the canned ones are most likely found sold in Middle Eastern markets or whole food stores.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 2 hours
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 pounds spinach, heavy stems removed, washed well, and chopped
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup dried split peas
4 turnips (about 1 pound), peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 large artichokes (about 2 pounds), trimmed and hearts diced
2 tablespoons harīsa
1 tablespoon tābil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground red chile or red Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoons salt
2 ¼ cups canned cooked fava beans (foul medammes), drained, or 1 cup dried fava beans, soaked in water to cover for 24 hours
2 ¼ cups canned cooked chickpeas, drained, or 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water to cover for 24 hours
1. In a casserole, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then cook, stirring frequently, the onion, spinach, and parsley until the onions are soft and wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the dried peas (and the dried fava beans and dried chickpeas if using), turnips, carrot, and 1 cup water, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook until tender, but with a little bite to the root vegetables, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir the harīsa and tābil together in ¾ cup water. Add to the casserole with the cayenne and ground red chile and salt. Stir to blend, cover, and cook 30 minutes over low heat. Add the fava beans and chickpeas and stir again to blend. Cook, uncovered, until everything is tender and syrupy, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.