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Fassoulia Beda (Egyptian White Bean Stew)

1 pound dried white haricot beans, rinsed
5 cups water, divided

4 tablespoons corn oil
1 medium (1 cup) onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or canned tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, put through a press
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cuminseed
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large pan, place the beans and 3 cups of the water and bring
to a boil. Turn the heat to low, half-cover the pan, and simmer
until the water is almost absorbed.

In another pan or a kettle, bring the remaining 2 cups of water to
a boil, add the boiling water to the beans, and continue to simmer.
The total cooking time to soft the beans is about 2 hours. The stew
will take on a creamy look and consistency.

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute over low heat
until golden. Add this to the bean pan with the tomato sauce,
garlic, salt, cumin seed, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the
pan and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. If the liquid evaporates
too quickly, add 1/2 cup more of boiling water and simmer for 5
minutes longer. Serve warm with rice. Makes 6 servings.


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