Monday, December 20, 2010
Eat Like an Egyptian
While watching TV late at night I came across an episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain was in Egypt. I have to say that when I was a young child, studying ancient cultures was a hobby of mine. Religion, myths and legends, fashion and food and drink of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Romans and Egyptians continue to fascinate me today. That is why when I saw Tony Bourdain eating Ful Medames, Egypt's ancient national dish, I decided that I need to find a recipe and make it for myself.
Recipes for this food vary greatly, but mostly involve simmering fava beans (also called 'broad beans'), onions, garlic, tomatoes, and various herbs and spices together in a pan. While fava beans are a staple in the Middle East as well as Ethiopia and Greece, they are nearly impossible to find here. I found canned fava beans at Whole Foods...but you know how I feel about canned beans. Well, maybe you don't. They're like cheating. They're like telling your blind grandmother you have a royal flush in poker when you don't. She won't know the difference, but its still wrong. Also they don't taste as good (except for in chili where you're using 5 kinds of beans anyway, I don't expect you to cook all those beans yourself).
But I digress. In Egypt, everyone, rich or poor eats Ful Medames (according to Wikipedia and Tony Bourdain and the recipe book), and there it is mostly a hearty breakfast dish served with a hard-boiled egg and pita. But I'm from America, and I like to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast. That's okay, Ful Medames makes a great dinner, too.
Links used in this post:
The recipe I used. This book seems excellent and I want to peruse it more!
Nutrition Data for Fava Beans
Wikipedia article for ful medames.