Egyptian Recipes - Lahma mu'assaga - Savory minced beef



Breakfast

'Fuul' is dry Broad Beans.

There are three main types of dry broad beans:
1) Fuul Rumi, or Greek beans: are large flat and whitish.
2) Full Hamam, or pigeon beans: are small, round and dark brown.
3) Full Baladi Sa'idi, or Local Upper Egyptian beans: are whitish and mid-size.
They are all prepared in the same manner and taste more or less the same, the only difference being the cooking time needed.
When picking beans, discard all wrinkled, spotted, or broken ones.

'Full Midammis' - Dry Broad beans, stewed

Ingredients

1. 2 cups dry broad beans
2. 1/2 cup split lentils
3. Optional: 1 tomato, 1 carrot, and 1 onion.

Procedure

1. Place beans and lentils in (a Dammasa - Stewing pot) with at least three times their measure in water.
A Dammasa - Stewing pot is a metal, vase-shaped pot with a tight lid and narrow neck used chiefly to stew dried broad beans, or Fuul.
There are two main types: one is used on direct flame and the second has an electric heating element.
Electric Dammasa are available with different heating elements: one is placed on a low-watt electric hotplate to keep the beans simmering, while the other has a low-watt rod-shaped heating element and two lids. The first lid is used to cover the beans while the pot is on a direct flame until the water boils, and the second lid has a hole through which the heating element is placed to keep the beans hot and simmering after they are removed from the flame. It is important to keep the Dammassa resting on a warm surface while the rod-shaped heating element is inside it.
Whichever Dammasa you use, Fuul must be placed on the naked flame to boil before it is removed to simmer on the hotplate or with the rod.
2. Boil over quick flame, then add any or all the optional vegetables.
3. Bring to boil, cover very tightly, and simmer over very slow flame for 6-9 hours, or overnight, adding more boiling water whenever the water is absorbed and beans are dry (cold water will shrivel the beans, change the taste, and make them hard). This is the basis of Fuul Midammis.
4. Then mash the beans with oil (cottonseed, olive, linseed, or corn oil), lemon, salt, and any of the following ingredients: crushed garlic, grated onions, chopped tomatoes, and cumin.
5. Hardboiled eggs, onions soaked in vinegar, and mixed pickles are always eaten with local bread (see 'Eesh Baladi recipe).

A quicker but less attractive way to cook Fuul is to use a pressure cooker. Though the taste of the beans will remain the same, the color tends to turn much darker.

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