Sunday, February 15, 2009

Foul Salad and Eggplant dip

"Ful Medames" - the Egyptian national dish - is made with Ful (or Foul, as it is often spelt on the cans I buy), the Egyptian word for Fava Beans. The recipe here is similar in ingredients to Ful Medames but takes the form of a salad, taught to me by a friend who had it from a Sudanese Dinka friend of his.
Also the recipe for my favourite eggplant dip - a good accompaniment to the salad, with pita bread.


Foul Salad
Ingredients:
2 cans Ful/Fava beans or equivalent amount of cooked broad beans
1 red onion
250g feta cheese
1 capsicum (red, green yellow or a mix of all 3)
Bunch of parsley
Lemon juice
Cumin powder
Olive oil

salt (to taste)
Fresh chilli (optional)
Clove of garlic (optional)

Method:
Rinse beans and place in salad bowl. Dice onion, capsicum, feta cheese and add to salad bowl. Chop parsley finely and add it as well. Juice 2-4 lemons (depending on size) into a jar with lid. Add 1 tablespoon cumin powder, salt, and finely chopped chilli and garlic (if using). Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Shake jar to mix, pour on salad & mix in bowl. Salad is ready to eat!
Alter the quantities to suit your own taste, especially the dressing.

Eggplant tahini dip
(This recipe I adapted from one in the Penguin Book of Herbs and Spices by
Rosemary Hemphill, 1959)
Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
1 quarter cup of tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 dessert spoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt
Olive oil

Preparing eggplant:
If you want a creamy hommus colour for your dip, first peel the eggplant. I usually don't bother.
Chop into small slivers or cubes. You may wish to salt the eggplant to soften it; this means it absorbs less oil (for a leaner dish, I suppose!). Sprinkle the chopped eggplant with salt, leave to stand for ten or twenty minutes, then drain the water that has been drawn out & rinse. Some people suggest you dry the chopped eggplant but I usually don't bother.
Fry the chopped eggplant in olive oil until soft and mushy. If you didn't salt it, you may have to use a fair bit of oil as the eggplant will soak it up. When quite soft, but not burned, place in a bowl. (I have also done this part by grilling or roasting the chopped eggplant, with or without oil - you can experiment if you want to!)

Mixing it up:
Mix all the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the eggplant. If you have a blender or "whizzy stick" you can use this to puree. Otherwise, a potato masher or at a pinch a fork may be used to mash the mix. It doesn't have to be really smooth; chunks of eggplant won't ruin the flavour.

Refrigerate or leave until cool and it's ready to eat.

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