NANA'S KITCHEN: FAVA BEANS & FUL

Originating in Egypt with a history that is said to have originated close to Pharaonic times, "ful" is as popular of a breakfast dish in the Middle East as ackee & saltfish is in Jamaica. Ful (prounced "fool") is the one dish that crosses all social classes- so regardless of who you are, you've either had ful on the street, at home or at the fanciest of hotels. It's a medley of fava beans with key ingredients such as lemon, olive oil and cumin. Heavy, hearty and healthy, this is especially perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Traditionally, fava beans are cooked in copper pans all throughout the night- it's a very lengthy process, but this recipe will give you a taste of Egypt in no time! 

"Ful" - Fava Beans Breakfast

Makes 3-4 servings

3 cups cooked fava beans *

2-3 large lemons

Olive oil

Cumin

1/2 cup scallion, chopped very finely

1/2 cup fresh parsley or mint, chopped finely

2 large tomatoes, diced

Salt

Rinse the fava beans and keep 2 tablespoons of the beans on the side. Mash those 2 tablespoons of beans with the back of a spoon or a fork. 

Transfer the fava beans to a pot, cover with just enough water and add the mashed fava beans in there too- it will help thicken and give flavour to the water. Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.

With a ladle,serve the beans while they are still hot in bowls. When serving the beans, make sure to include a bit of the "fava bean water" in each bowl. Then, in each bowl, squeeze at least half a lemon, drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (must be olive oil), cumin (be generous with the cumin), salt, scallion and the parsley/mint. With a spoon, give each bowl a swirl or two so that the ingredients mix. Add more lemon if necessary- there should be a bit of a tang to this dish. Top off with the diced tomatoes. 

Optional: you can also top off with cooked chickpeas. 

Ful should be eaten while still warm- so be sure to serve and enjoy immediately :)

*Buying canned fava beans will shave off a good 8 hours of cooking time! You can find brown fava beans at MegaMart in the canned food aisles. Be sure to buy non-seasoned fava beans.

*A 240gr standard size can of fava beans would be 1.5 cups of cooked fava beans. So for this recipe, you would need 2 cans.