Whoop! Whoop! I have wanted to make this simple dish for some time now and finally managed to find dried fava beans otherwise known as broad beans or 'ful'. They are the oldest domesticated legumes and have been eaten throughout the middle east and ancient world for hundreds if not thousands of years. This dish is traditionally eaten for breakfast with boiled eggs and is also often combined with chickpeas. There are many ways of preparing it and the beans can be mashed or left whole but the main additions are always garlic, lemon and olive oil. I made mine to go with a vegetable curry and decided to mash half the beans and leave the rest whole. I also added chilli and used fresh coriander as a topping instead of the more traditional flat leaf parsley. Soaking and boiling the beans (which I did) is a seemingly endless process and getting the beans just tender is quite difficult so if you can find tinned beans I would probably suggest using them instead. Oh how I love a bean!
1 cup dried fava beans or 400g tinned beans
1 tomato, finely chopped
small handful coriander, roughly chopped
2-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
half a teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Salt and black pepper
If using dried beans, soak in plenty of water overnight. Drain and bring them to boil in a large pot of water, turn down the heat and simmer for about two hours until tender. Keep a quarter of a cup of the cooking liquid aside then drain the beans and allow to cool. Remove the tough skins from the beans by cutting them gently along the edge and popping the flesh out. If using tinned beans, keep a little of the liquid back, drain and rinse. No need to remove the skins.
Place beans and the liquid in a pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be slightly creamy. Remove from the heat and put half the beans into a bowl. Mash with a fork or pestle until semi smooth. Add the rest of the whole beans, juice of the lemon, crushed garlic, chilli flakes and mix together. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, mix again. Spread onto a plate and top with chopped tomatoes and coriander. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve with warm pita or flatbreads.