Every spring I make at least one dish containing fava beans. They are labor-intensive because in addition to shelling them, they must be peeled after cooking. Their unique flavor, however, warrants the extra work at least once in the season. You can substitute other shelled beans that do not have to be peeled, such as lima or cranberry beans. Farmers’ markets are good hunting grounds for fresh beans. This recipe is a simplified version of a tagine, the Moroccan stew that is prepared in a couscoussiere, an ingenious double-boiler-type arrangement in which the tagine cooks in the lower vessel and the couscous sits above it to cook in the fragrant steam from the tagine.
In large pot, heat oil over low heat. Add asafetida if desired, ginger and cumin and cook until fragrant, stirring often, about 1 minute. Add carrots, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.
Add all beans, artichoke hearts, broth, sun-dried tomatoes, sugar, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon and saffron. Mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Adjust salt to taste and serve with couscous.