Category: Antipasto, Meze, Tapas, and Hors d'Oeuvres
Difficulty: Easy but long cooking time
The rich man's breakfast, the shopkeeper's lunch, the poor man's supper. This Arabic saying captures what --fūl mudammas is. Fūl (pronounced "FOOL"), which means "fava bean," is often eaten for breakfast. Fūl mudammas, a kind of dried fava bean stew, is considered the Egyptian national dish. For more on fūl click here
[photo: Clifford A. Wright, clockwise from top: ful bi'l-zayt (with olive oil), ful bi'l-bayd (with egg), ful bi'l-lumi (with lime), ful bi'l-taqliyya (with garlic-coriander seed pesto)
Yield: Makes 10 servings
Preparation Time: 2 days in all
1. Drain the fava beans. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the fava beans, and boil them until they are soft enough to have their peels removed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, then remove the peel by gently squeezing each bean so the skin pops off or by using a paring knife.
2. Place the peeled fava beans in a stewpot with the onion, tomatoes, and lentils and cover with the water. Bring to a gentle boil, skim the top of foam and reduce the heat to very low or place on a heat diffuser. Cover and cook for 12 hours. Don't lift the cover at all during the entire cooking time, otherwise the beans will discolor.
3. The cooked fava beans can be eaten whole, slightly mashed, or completely mashed. Season with salt. Serve with extra virgin olive oil, corn oil, melted butter, samna (clarified butter), tomato sauce (see below), garlic sauce (see below), basturma (sun-dried spice-rubbed beef fillet available in Middle Eastern markets), fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, freshly squeezed lime juice, or béchamel sauce.
Note: Note 1: You need not halve this large yielding recipe because fūl keeps well in the refrigerator up to a week and is excellent reheated.
Note 2: Garlic sauce (or taqliyya) is made by pounding some garlic with a little salt in a mortar and then adding some coriander seed or chopped coriander leaves and turning this into the ful or spooning it on top of a serving.
Note 3: Egyptian-style tomato sauce, dim'a musabika, is made by cooking a chopped medium onion in 1/4 cup olive oil with six crushed garlic cloves and then stirring in a six-ounce can of tomato paste mixed with four cups of water, two teaspoons white wine vinegar, two teaspoons salt, one teaspoon black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and cooking on low for 20 minutes.