Ful or broad beans have become somewhat of a delicacy in the Arab world. No mezza is complete without a plate of mushed up broad beans stuck alongside a tower of flat flatbread. This steaming batch of Ful offered a warming aroma that drew me closer. Each restaurant in the Old city of Jerusalem competed for the best plate of starchy goodness, presenting their dip on small plates with crownings of olive oil and parsley. It’s shocking that such a simple, ‘peasant’ side dish could gain the respect of millions of Arab ‘followers’ – but I must say it has also captured my heart, this dish is a must try!
2 cups boiled and pealed broad beans
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin – optional
parsley, finely chopped for the garnish
Mash the broad beans. Add all the ingredients and mix. Serve on small plates with the ful spread into a thin layer. Drizzle with olive oil and crown with parsley.
An Arab dinner party is never complete until each guest has been served a piece of Baqlawah. In some ways I wish I hadn’t grown up on these devilish pastries because I have grown accustomed to their sickly sweet taste and am no longer fazed by the sugar hit – which is dangerous! But these golden pistachio-filled dessert’s always remind me of long nights at my grandparents house, where after collapsing on the lounge in a food-induced daze, Baqlawah would be brought out to the table, and forced into our mouths (although I rarely put up resistance.)