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Saturday, March 7, 2009

What's for Lunch?

We are 36 hours away from our trip to the airport for the return to Minnesota. This means we are in the midst of a "long goodbye" as we visit friends for the last time on this trip. Now the Minnesota long goodbye has been much studied and well reported. But in Egypt, saying goodbye takes about one full week.

Linda is doing a goodbye with the neighbor lady, so I'm on my own for lunch today. What to have? Well, I am in the mood for foul. Foul Medammes, that is. One of the national specialties here, foul consists of cooked fava beans and "some spices" and "some vegetables."

Let's start with the basic ingredient, the fava beans. Cruise the foul isle at the local store, supermarket or hypermarket and you will find them in cans. Medammes, crushed medammes, peeled medammes, Saudi style medammes, medammes with chillis. It's like a Minnesotan shopping for black-eyed peas in Atlanta - which ones do I buy?

I've settled on this secret recipe variety.

They are produced by California Garden, headquartered in Dubai and their president claims they are the #1 brand in the world for fava beans.

These beans have really good flavor right out of the can.

While I am heating the fava beans, I prepare the rest of my Foul. Onions, green peppers and fresh tomatoes are essential. A little cumin and just the right amount of ground red chilli pepper. And don't forget to squeeze in about a half of one of those baby Egyptian lemons.

Add the vegetables and seasonings to taste and lunch is ready!

And if that doesn't entice you to give this delicacy a try, just Google, "foul medammes", click on images, and head for this photo gallery.

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