Spicy Beef with Fava Beans


If you're looking for a new twist on ground beef, this Indian-inspired dish combines fragrant spices, yogurt, and sweet baby fava beans for a memorable meal.As written, this dish is mildly hot, but you can ramp up the heat by adding more chiles. Don't skip the steps that call for cooking the spices and spice paste; this is what lends such depth of flavor and aroma to the dish. Serve with rice or flatbread.


5 large cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 3-inch knob of fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
3 small dried red chiles ((chiles de arbol))
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
  Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup diced yellow onion ((1/4-inch dice))
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
3 medium ripe tomatoes (cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups))
1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek)
2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (skins removed)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley



Place the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, and water into a blender. Process to form a smooth spice paste. Set aside.

Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chiles, coriander, cumin, and bay leaf, and cook, stirring frequently, until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved spice paste, then add the tomato paste; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced and glazed, about 5 minutes.

Add the beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until it is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the yogurt, fava beans, and parsley, and cook until the mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and dried chiles and discard.

Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.


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