One of our favourite Syrian snacks is Fuul – a broad bean stew drizzled with lemon juice, olive oil, and tahini. We often found it at small stalls in the souk (market). Each stall serves it in a slightly different manner.
Our local Lebonese halal grocery store has some nice big (about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide) fava beans. With some experimentation and Web research, I’ve manage to reproduce something similar to one of our favourite types of fuul. I tested it out on Scott’s extended family this weekend, and it met rave reviews.
I hope you enjoy it too!
- Large fava beans (one can or about 2 cups dried) *
- 4 tbsp olive oil (separated)
- 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- sprinkle of cumin powder
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp of tahini (sesame paste)**
* If you cannot find fava beans, you can substitute white kidney beans or another large bean. It won’t taste the same, but it will still be good 🙂
- If using dried fava beans, soak them overnight with 1/2 tsp on baking soda. Cook until tender – this is best done with a pressure cooker, as boiling tends to make them mushy.
- Peel the brown shell off the fava beans. This is required for both canned and dried beans.
- Heat the fava beans. I use the microwave, but you could also bring them to a quick boil.
- Sprinkle salt over the fava beans. This is necessary when using dried beans. Canned beans are sometimes salted.
- In a deep frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
- Add the fava beans and stir – fry for 1 minute.
- Add the onions and stir – fry for 1 minute (you don’t want to cook the onions too much, they should be crunchy).
- Remove from heat and add the tomatoes – stir.
- Divide into serving bowls (makes 3-4 servings).
- Sprinkle with cumin.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil.
- Drizzle with tahini.**
** Optional. If you can find it, Lebanese tahini (which is a thick liquid rather than a paste) tastes better than Greek tahini.