Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fuol Medames

Fuol, spelled variously as 'ful' or 'fool' is very popular Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dish of made with mashed fava beans served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. It is usually a staple meal, not a side dish, served for breakfast. I first had it at the home of my friends Paul and Olga, the latter who probably learned the recipe from an Egyptian friend. Pinto or kidney beans make a good substitute and there are no rules against using canned beans for even faster preparation. The beans and onions provide the substance while the fresh greens, tomatoes and lemon juice add a light freshness.

4 cups of cooked beans, 2x16 oz cans or 3x 340 gram cans of Egyptian fava, pinto, great northern or cannellini beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 large cloves minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
Juice of one lemon (1/4 cup)
1 large handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

dash of turmeric
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
handful of chopped fresh cilantro / coriander

Garnish with
fresh cucumbers
triangles of pita bread or lavash


In a large frying pan, sauté the onions and cumin in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until limp. Add garlic and cook a little. Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the chopped tomato and cook until it just starts breaking apart. Add any other spices and lemon juice and stir. Add beans (drained and rinsed), one or more tablespoons of olive oil and salt pepper to taste. Leave on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Using a fork, or wooden dowel, mash some of the beans directly in the pan to give more texture.

Top with olive oil, the fresh parsley and tomatoes before serving. Like many Middle Eastern dishes, it is served with tahini and flat bread such as pita or lavash.