By Jessica Michael
I’ve recently noticed that some African Arabic cooking has a basic 5 ingredients: Season-All, Cumin, Black Pepper, Onion and Lime. These five main ingredients tend to make things fresh, spicy and irresistible as well as adding some Arabic flare.
Before I became a vegetarian, my husband made Foul Medammas (Fava Beans) and Baba Ganoush (eggplant) for me regularly but would add spam (yes, spam) for flavor. I attempted to make my own vegan spam last night using a recipe I found online but it was quite disgusting and I tossed it without eating it. Honestly, it doesn’t need it and the spam was my husband’s own addition.
Baba Ganoush is a healthy dinner option, it’s basically just blended eggplant and you can find it in any middle eastern or Greek store. Just warm it up for a couple of minutes on the stove (no boiling necessary, you just want it warm). Next, add your basic five ingredients (and a tablespoon of olive oil for flavor). It’s one of my favorite Middle East dishes and I never feel guilty eating it.
Foul Medammas are beans called “Fava” beans. There are a couple of types of fava, the large ones are not as good (and there are like 20 beans in the can) as the smaller ones. If you buy it at the store, make sure you get the small ones.
To make the fava beans, we normally boil water and stick the can of beans in the water. I get that this is probably not the best way to do it but that’s the way it’s normally done- feel free to take it out of the can and cook it, I don’t think it will taste much different. Once they are nice and steamy, mash them then the same five ingredients as well as the olive oil (just a teaspoon should be fine for the foul).
Do not drain, use the juice from the beans to keep the flavor. Stir and enjoy with the big pita bread you can also find at the middle eastern store.
It’s extremely easy, has protein, vegetable and carbs all in one meal and two small cans can feed two people for dinner or enough for side dishes at a party!