Many months have passed since I last posted and for that I apologise. There were many things going on in my life which got in the way of my scribblings.
But I now have a little time and many things to share with you so I’ll start with this old favourite.
Before I became a proper foody twat, I was usually introduced to new things by various friends and this is no exception. A former work colleague came to stay for a night with her partner, and by way of a thank you they provided food and drink for the evening.
This delicious dip was the food and it was entirely new to me.
Ful Medames or, less appetisingly, Foul Mudammas is essentially a stew or dip, most popular in Egypt but found all over the Middle East where it is eaten for breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s made with Fava beans (or Broad beans if you prefer) and perhaps best enjoyed with a nice Chianti!
It’s cheap as chips, very easy, very healthy, and very delicious. Here I crumble some feta cheese over the top but you can obviously omit the cheese if you are part of the increasingly popular vegan brigade.
A google search will throw up dozens of variations of this dish but this is the way I do it.
You could of course soak and boil dried fava beans but it is much easier to pick up a can in your local Asian market.
There’s plenty right here for 2 but with a few nibbles on the side such as olives or some salad, this would easily feed 4 people.
- One can of Ful Medames or Fava beans or Broad beans
- One small onion or a shallot
- A clove or two of garlic
- 150 grams of mushrooms
- 2 tsp Cumin
- Salt and pepper
- Oil for frying
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Some feta cheese
- A handful of spring onions
- Pita Bread
Start the way 99% of all my delicious things start, by gently frying onion and garlic until they have softened. Throw in the can of fava beans and stir.
A note on which type of bean you buy here. The Asian markets tend to sell cans of Ful which are already prepared and supposedly ready to eat with subtitles like ‘Egyptian recipe’ or ‘Palestinian recipe’, I have tried many of the varieties and in my experience they can be hit or miss regarding taste. I usually drain the beans so the flavours are of my own making. With a plain old can of beans from a supermarket, you are starting from scratch anyway.
With a potato masher or a fork mash up the beans to a consistency of your liking.
If the mixture seems a little dry then just add a little water to loosen it up. Chop the mushrooms as finely as you can be bothered and add these. Mushrooms are an alien addition to Ful but I like the way they bulk up the dish and absorb the flavours rather than interfering with the taste.
Add as much cumin as you are comfortable with. I put in about two heaped teaspoons. Season with salt and pepper, give it a stir and let it simmer until the mushrooms have released their moisture. You could always add more spices and ingredients you like, a little chilli if you want some heat for example. I like to simmer it until it is quite a stiff consistency but you might like a looser mix. Add water if it is too thick for you or keep simmering if it is too watery. Simple.
While you are simmering you can chop up some spring onions and heat up some pita breads in the oven or in a toaster.
Transfer your Ful into a serving bowl, crumble some feta cheese over it and drizzle on a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Throw the chopped spring onions on and you are done. Tear chunks off the pita bread and dip in. Delicious.