oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

Ful Medames

The only trick with this recipe is to find broad beans (or fava beans). I've had good luck in the bulk section at Whole Foods, and when I find them, I buy a lot and put them in a jar.



Ful Medames
(Egyptian style)
Recipe from The Africa Cookbook, by Jessica B. Harris, which is a fun read even if you don't make any of the recipes. Commentary is mine.


2 cups dried broad beans or fava beans
4 cups water

6 cloves garlic or to taste
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley

Optional accompaniments:
Radishes
Sliced, hard-boiled eggs
Scallions
Toasted wedges of pita bread


Soak the beans overnight in the water. Soaking them for 24 hours is okay; I usually soak them in the pot in which they'll be cooked. When they're soaked, add just enough water to cover them and put them on medium heat until the water comes to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the beans for two hours or until they're tender. If you need to add water, add boiling water only, or the beans will be toughened. I usually keep a teapot of water going while the beans are cooking so I have boiling water handy. Microwaved boiled water also works. When they're done, the outer casing of some of the beans might be split; this is okay.

While the beans are cooking, and cooking, and cooking, peel the garlic cloves and mash them together with the sea salt in a mortar (very satisfying) or a food processor. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, oil, and parsley if you're using it (I don't usually bother). Add the juice mixture to the garlic mixture and gently combine, inhaling deeply (not required, but it's one of my favorite things about this dish).

When the beans are cooked, drain them, reserving 1 tbs of the water. I've had this dish in restaurants where it was soupier, and I think they used more of the water. I prefer it Harris' way.

Add the reserved water to the garlic mixture, then add it all to the beans and stir to combine. Serve warm, with accompaniments if you like.

I like to eat this with steamed broccoli, myself, though it's not traditional. I also think it tastes excellent cold. If you microwave the beans to reheat, try not to do it for too long, as the beans will toughen a little.

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