Monday, August 27, 2012

Foul (Fava beans and Chickpeas). Beirut

 I lived in Beirut for seven years. Back then, I was a different person in a different world. Yet, that person is still in some sense part of me.

 I have been to many cities, but there is this one trait which is so special to Beirut: the smell of fresh food early in the morning.

 Beirut is a noisy city. People yell at each other and honk a lot. Sometimes they are both yelling and honking at the same time. Rush hour traffic is insane. My best friend used to compare it to the sliding puzzle where there's only one slot where you can move.
 Beirut breakfast is truly special though. As early as six in the morning, when the city is just starting to wake up, and the sun is just rising behind the mountains, the Manae'eesh bakeries, the Knafeh and Foul places, the coffee shops downtown and the Saj cafes everywhere, are all active and waking everyone up. It's an everyday reminder of the fabulous morning that uniquely embraces this city. Every new morning in Beirut has the smell of renewed hope, for calm, and even peace.

Recipe: Foul (Fava beans and Chickpeas)

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup small Fava beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • serrano pepper, thinly chopped (only if you like it spicy)
  • chopped parsley, fresh mint (for garnish)
  • olive oil (to taste)
  1. Soak the chickpeas and the Fava beans (separately) in warm water for 4 hours.
  2. Boil (with pot covered) the chickpeas in 3 cups of water and 1 tbsp cumin, and separately the Fava beans in 2 cups of water and 0.5 tbsp cumin. Boil each for approximately 5 hours, or until very soft, on very low heat. If the water dries out, then add more water until the beans and chickpeas are very soft.
  3. Mix the garlic, serrano pepper, lemon and salt.
  4. Mix the Fava beans, chickpeas, and the garlic- serrano pepper- lemon- and salt mix. Smash to make an almost homogeneous mix (see photo). 
  5. Garnish with generous amount of parsley and mint, and add olive oil (I add a lot of olive oil, about 1/2 cup). Serve with tomatoes, pickles, olives, and cucumbers. Eat with pita bread.

No comments:

Post a Comment