Let’s face it. Lebanese cuisine is in essence a cuisine for poor folks; (maybe that’s why the bleeding heart liberal that I am loves it). The good news is that it is also VERY HEALTHY!
Now I know this looks like prison gruel, but it tastes exquisite; something about the pomegranate molasses, garlic, caramelized onions and garlic end up making this poor man’s dish mighty good!
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 8 ounces of dried fava beans, previously cooked in at least 6 cups of water for two hours or till tender.
- 1 can of chick peas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
- 2 large onions, sliced (more if using for garnish)
- olive oil, as needed
- 1 tablespoon of mashed garlic (if you are squeamish about using that much, use less!)
- 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 2 cups of Italian or Turkish or Egyptian or sushi rice
- Heat some olive oil and brown the onions: that’s the tricky part, one minute of inattention and the onions turn black!
- Add the fava beans and drained chick peas. Add the cumin, garlic, pomegranate molasses, bacon salt if using, a bit more olive oil and stir fry for one minute.
- Add the rice and fry 30 seconds more. Add 4 to 6 cups of water (can do so gradually). Cover the pan and let the water simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and stir, checking to see if the rice needs more water.
- Cook until the rice is done. Check seasoning, adding a bit of this or that, some salt.
- Serve with yogurt on the side (traditionally, goat yogurt is served with this dish)
Source for the recipe, (adapted): Chef Ramzi Culinary Heritage of Lebanon. Dish is from the region of Tripoli.
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