Throughout college I worked part-time at a local Mediterranean restaurant, The Pita House. The restaurant locale resides in an eclectic neighborhood with a good mix of college kids, families, hipsters and hippies. I was able to walk to work everyday, worked along-side my BF Brooke and donned a self-fashioned turban with a kanga from Brazil…it was highly fashionable for my then, bohemian self (and a heck of lot better than a hairnet!) My uncle humorously referred to me as, Erykah Badon’t…funny guy!
The Pita House is owned by a local family, The Shatara’s who became a second family to me. They are a wonderfully social, loud, adventurous family with great food tastes and open hearts. From them I learned some great recipes, shway shway Arabic, how to dance the Dabke and how to sip Ouzo and smoke hookah. When I worked mornings we typically shared a breakfast and Turkish coffee, which was a right start to the day!
A popular Mediterranean breakfast is Ful Mudammas (simmered Fava Beans.) This dish is often referred to as Egypt’s national dish but you will find several takes on Ful throughout the Mid-East. At The Pita House we used canned fava beans which were warmed and topped with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley. The ancient way of preparing Ful, which means fava and Mudammas, which means buried, is to take fava beans in a sealed pot of water and bury it under hot coals to cook.
This evening I finished a run and needed something fresh and fast to eat, so I turned to Ful. It’s packed with protein and fiber and I added an array of vegetables to freshen it up! Typically Ful is served with pita bread but I was out, so I substituted some locally homemade wheat tortillas.
Ful Mudammas on the Fly
1 can Fava Beans, pureed
1 Persian or Kirby cucumber, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 Hungarian Pepper, chopped
Few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
Few cloves of garlic, minced
Juice from half a lemon
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
2 Whole Wheat Tortillas, quartered or Fresh Pita Bread
First, open and drain the canned Fava Beans. Then heat the Fava Beans in a pan on the stove top. When heated through puree in a food processor, blender or by hand with a potato masher. Place in a bowl to serve and garnish with the garlic, vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Slice the Tortillas or Bread into serving sized pieces and use to scoop up the warm Ful!