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Ful Medammes and ta'ameya are one of the most popular dishes available in Egypt, dearly loved by people from all walks of life. Ful Medammes is basically Egyptian Falafel made with mashed fava beans. In other parts of the Middle East, chickpeas are usually used instead of fava beans, which are an integral component of the dish here in Egypt. In fact, this dish is so popular in Egypt that you're going to have a hard time avoiding it: they sell these little beauties in food carts everywhere around Egypt. Ful and Ta'ameya sandwiches are also popular among the food carts of Egypt. Once upon a time, Ful (Fava beans) was considered to be 'unclean' in Egypt and its amazing how it has turned out to be a national dish today. If you want to make Ful Medames at home, you would be glad to know that it is quite easy to make. However, a little bit of patience is required since you need to soak the beans for a couple of days before you start your dish. Then you'd have to boil your fava beans (known as broad beans around the world). If you want to skip the wait, you could use canned beans but be warned: the preservatives that are used in canned beans have been known to be harmful to your health. Besides, making Ful Mesdames from scratch yields a lot more satisfaction than simply using canned beans which don't even taste the same. The recipe I have for you here is the simplest way of preparing Ful Medames, while keeping the authentic flavor. You will need:
  • 1 lb of dried fava beans
  • Water
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • Ground Coriander seed
  • ¼ lime juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (To taste)
  • Fresh Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Cheese (Optional)
Pour the beans into a large bowl along with filtered water. Add a bit of lime juice to it, and cover it up. They should be soaked for two days. When the beans are ready, cook them. You could take some time to remove the scum, but it is entirely optional. Cook the beans for 4-5 hours in the medium heat, adding only hot water. After the beans are cooked (keep checking every hour if they are), you'll need to check the liquid before adding any kind of seasoning.  Remove the liquid according to how much you need going (Remember, you don't want it to be soupy, just enough thickness should do it). Now, you need to add the seasonings to your beans. The cumin, pepper, tahini paste, salt, and pepper should all go in according to your taste, as the ratio depends on what texture you're looking for. Blend the beans, and add the vegetables of your choice to the mixture. Serve the exquisitely delicious ful medamme with the some freshly baked pita bread!
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