Forgive me for any etiquette faux pax (and bad French) - I have never been on a chat room before! Had wonderful fava bean dish recently on honeymoon in Florence. It was actually a Kebab place called Turkuaz. The dish was fava beans (which looked brown, not green) and squished tomatoes, with maybe some onions and yummy spices. We had it with simply cous cous (like beans and rice for dinner) and could not stop eating it. I bought dried organic fava beans at the Co-op this week and have been looking for recipes that seem similar, but all I can find are green, fresh fava bean salads and then stews and roasted chicken and nothing that approximates. help? Needless to say, I am not much of a cook, but I am fearless and like to learn and try.
Rather specific Fava Bean recipe wanted
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when I did a google search for a Moroccan fava bean and tomato dish, I found this
Also, I saw another that used cinnamon
by chance did you take a photo of the dish?
ful/foul/fool is a super popular super basic dish in the Middle East and surrounding cultures, and I'm certain what you had was a variant. kaneohegirlinaz linked to a Moroccan recipe above. ful means fava bean, and there is a large bean and a small bean variety that are generally interchangeable, major difference is texture. ful's level of popularity means there's no particular way of preparing "Ful"; like mom's chicken soup there are about as many preparations as there are cooks, so while you can't recreate exactly what you had, you'll likely come up with an excellent substitute after experimentation. On the bright side, almost every preparation of ful (indeed, any dried bean) is good with enough oil and salt.
You cook them the same way you might cook any dried bean:
Soak in plenty of water overnight. (Also, I add a spoonful of baking soda. Superstition eh. I like to think it degrades the tough skins.) Simmer with new water to cover by at least a couple of inches. You may have to skim foam off the surface sometime during the first hour, but I find that this is less true with favas than w other beans. After that you can just leave them alone. Cooking time depends on how soft you want them, the size of the beans, the age of the beans, etc., and no criteria other than the first matter at all. Aim for about 3-6 hours give or take ....psst I really don't know I just check em now and then on my way to the bathroom, a superior method after all... You may also add aromatics like onion, garlic, chiles, spices, etc., but with my go-to preparation, I do not. Salt when you're ready to eat.
The ful you had, my first idea is sliced onion cooked in oil or ghee until soft or browned, then tomatoes added, then pour over the cooked ful? As for spices, look into cumin, coriander, za'atar, baharat, peppercorn, paprika, chile... ? There was probably garlic in it as well. Since you're the only one who has tried it, you're on your own here. That said, here are some options for your consideration:
oil: olive, flax, corn, butter, ghee
vegetables: cooked, raw, or pickled
acid: lemon, vinegar, pickle juice
eggs: crack them into a pot of simmering beans and cover, or bake the same way. Or serve with already cooked eggs.
spices: see above. Beans will do with or without any spice.
nuts/seeds: tahini, toasted nuts or seeds, nut butters. I add raw garlic and lemon juice to tahini, then water it down. Such a thing can be done to any paste.
dairy: yogurt, strained yogurt, try a sour cheese like feta or a goat cheese
allium: onion, garlic, leek, shallot, raw, roasted, sauteed, boiled, caramelized...
herbs: arugula, basil, mint, oregano, cilantro, parsley, dill, chive, etc.
Ful can be kept whole, with or without its broth, or can be mashed, or half mashed half whole, and like rice, it's a medium for turning what random ingredients you have into a meal, just throw them in. Preparations vary regionally in this way: whatever's abundant and popular in the region might be found in the ful. Your restaurant seems to be Turkish, so you can look into that.
Edited by heath - 9/29/13 at 4:13am
Glorygirl, when I read kebab place and the name Turkuaz, then it's easy to make the link with Turkish cuisine instead of Moroccan or any other North-African country. If it's a Turkish recipe, then you could very well have eaten bulghur instead of couscous. Both look very similar but bulghur has a slightly nutty taste.
You also mention brown beans instead of green. Could be dried fava beans, but I would gamble on... chickpeas which are often used. Anyway, you could use or dried fava or chickpeas in a dish like this.
Take a look at the recipe in this link; http://www.chezrequia.com/archives/2012/10/18/25362472.html
They call the recipe "ragout de chorizo, pois chiche et tomates cerises, pilaf de boulgour comme un couscous" or in short chorizo stew, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes with a bulghur pilaf in couscous style.
The picture of the dish may ring a bell. If it's what you're looking for, I will gladly translate the French recipe for you. The dish looks like this;
Sounds like it might be somewhat related to ful medames but ful medamas is pretty specifically Arabic -- more specifically Egyptian/Sudanese and it's eaten/served with bread, not couscous.
There's actually a website for a Turkuaz Ristorante in Florence but it did not shed any light on what the dish may have been. It's supposed to be a Turkish restaurant but they also advertise felafel on their website, which is an Arabic word/dish rather than a Turkish one, so go figure.
I have a couple of Turkish cookbooks. I didn't find anything that sounds like what you ate. Dill seems to be commonly paired with favas in Turkish dishes.
There is a Greek fava bean stew with tomatoes and onions that shows up all over the internet that might be close to what you are looking for. Turkish food has more in common with Greek food than it does with Middle Eastern/Arabic cuisine.