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Got a yen for the food of strong men?
It’s so easy to just bop down to the corner falafel stand and pick up a pita full of the Middle Easts’ favorite fast food. But get to know – and make, another meal, the kind you have to sit down for.
In this recipe, dark, meaty fava beans set down in a nest of yellow hummus and a beige ring of tehini, topped with a brown hamine (long-cooked) egg. Parsley, to offset the earthy flavors. Lemon juice, to balance the dish with a little acidity, and a generous drizzle of good olive oil. On the side, pickles for piquancy, and a little bowl of hot sauce. Onion, just because. Some preserved lemon quarters. And fresh pitas. Nutritious, cheap, comforting. Satisfying in every sense. It’s ful and hummous: the Middle Eastern workingman’s lunch.
The ingredients are always the same, but each cook makes them a little different and never with frozen or canned chick peas. Some people like dark fava beans, using a traditional pot whose long neck allows slow evaporation of the cooking liquid. Some just boil up the quicker-cooking, lighter, haricot bean. Either way, ful and hummus is easy to make, but requires a number of steps. If you want to do this totally from scratch, you will need to prepare three ingredients the night before: beans soaking in one bowl, chickpeas in another, and a pot of gently-boiled eggs simmering on the stove.
The classic hummus and ful recipe
Make your Middle East friends proud with this genuine and tested recipe for hummus with ful
- 1 pound dried fava or haricot beans, soaked overnight organic everything if possible
- 2 cups dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1 1/3 cup tehini
- 6 eggs
- 2 lemons, juice of 2 halves and one more tbsp
- 2 large onions
- olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- water for cooking
The Ful.Pick over the beans.Rinse them and put them to soak overnight in plenty of water. Next morning, drain the beans and put them up to cook in fresh water.Add a fat clove of garlic, a bay leaf, and some olive oil to the water. Cook the beans till tender. Favas take 1-3 hours. If you choose white beans, they will cook in far less time – up to an hour.When the beans are soft but not falling apart, crush 2 fresh cloves of garlic into a small bowl. Stir 1 tsp. each of salt and cumin in, and add this seasoned garlic to the bean pot. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir the beans up. Crush some of them with a potato masher or a fork, so that they’ll absorb the flavors of the seasoning. Let them cook another 5 minutes. Then either turn the flame off, or start serving.
The Hamine or Slow-cooked EggsYou can just boil eggs as usual, or take this opportunity to do it the old-fashioned way. Make several, it’s not worth the trouble for only one or two. Take 6 eggs and the peels from 2 large onions. Put it all in a pot. Cover the eggs and peels in plenty of cold water; bring to a simmer.Drizzle a layer of olive oil over the surface. This prevents the water from evaporating during the long cooking period. Simmer the eggs, covered, over the very lowest flame you can achieve for 6 hours or overnight. They are delicate, creamy eggs, unlike any others.
The HummusPut 2 cups of dried chickpeas in a separate bowl. Cover them with plenty of water and let them soak overnight. As with the beans, drain them, and cook in fresh water till soft. It’s not a sin to open a can of chickpeas either. Although fresh-cooked always taste the best, canned chickpeas still make good hummousDo not add salt to either beans or chickpeas till they are completely cooked and easy to mash.Put the cooked or canned chickpeas in a blender or food processor.
To them, add1 fat clove of garlic3 Tblsp. of tehiniSalt to taste Juice from 1/2 lemon2 Tblsp. olive oil
TehiniPut into a bowl:1 cup raw tehina paste3/4 – 1 cup water, depending on how thick or thin you like it1 fat clove garlic, crushedsalt olive oil juice of 1/2 lemon
Get BlendingBlend all the ingredients, either by hand or in the blender. If you’re not used to the ways of tehini paste, don’t be alarmed that it initially becomes very thick when mixed with water. Keep mixing, it will smooth out amazingly.
To serve: Spoon a generous amount of hummous onto the plate. Take the spoon and spread it into a neat circle, thinner in the middle.Spoon a ring of tehina on the inside of the hummous circle.Put a pile of hot beans in the center of the plate. Top the beans with a little chopped onion, chopped parsley, and a peeled, still-warm hamine egg. Squeeze lemon juice over the whole; drizzle olive oil over it. If you’re fond of hot sauce, drizzle a few drops of it over the dish too.Put some small plates or bowls with pickles, olives, sliced onions, or pickled lemons in them.Now tear a chunk off your pita and use it to scoop up some of everything. Savor every mouthful, it’s the real McCoy.
Like this one?
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