Ful Medames (Egyptian Mashed Broad Beans)

This delicious dish of mashed up broad beans is considered by some to be the national dish of Egypt. Interestingly, it is eaten for breakfast. Breaking with it's traditional time of consumption, I served mine as an appetiser at a dinner party like a dip. It also makes a great side veggie dish though. It's easy to make and very tasty - you can even make most of it the day before and then just reheat it and mash it up when you want to serve it.

Ful Medames

600g frozen, fresh or canned broad beans (fava beans)
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less, to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

To Make
1. If using frozen broad beans, thaw. If using canned, drain. You can peel them if you don't like the chewy skins in there, but I like them so I didn't.
2. Put the broad beans, garlic, spices, lemon juice and vegetables stock in a saucepan, cover and simmer until broad beans are soft and cooked and the water is mostly gone, about 20 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper and then mash roughly with a fork or potato masher (if you'd prefer it smooth you could use a food processor), so that there are still big chunks of bean in it.
4. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita bread, tahini sauce, fresh lemon wedges and, if you like, preserved or pickled chillis.

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