Fool is fava beans in Arabic. I figured the dish was probably Egyptian since this is where fava beans are eaten in the street daily. ( An Egyptian friend in Lebanon told me that their fava beans are the best).
The cool thing with this dish is having to sprout the beans first; apparently that quadruples their nutritional benefits. Otherwise, it is an easy and filling dish that reheats well.
Plan on 3 or 4 days to get the beans sprouted.
NOTE: You can make this dish with other types of beans. You can make this dish without sprouting the beans.
- 1 lb Fava beans (dry and wide ones)
- 1/2 cup of rice (preferably medium-grain like sushi, Egyptian or Italian)
- 1 bunch of Swiss chard leaves, washed and drained
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup olive oil+ 1 Tbsp
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped and mashed in a mortar till pasty
- 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped
- salt, pepper
- Wash the beans and soak them in a bowl of water for a whole day, changing the water a couple of times. Drain the bowl and keep the beans in the bowl covered with a wet towel for 2 days; by then the beans would have sprouted and swelled up. Peel them.
- Heat the oil and fry the onions in a large pot. While the onion is frying, cut off the stalks from the chard, and chop the stalks; add the stalks to the onion and fry as well for 5 minutes over medium heat; add 3 cups of water and the beans. When the beans are almost done, add the rice and season with salt and pepper and cover the pot; let the mixture simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, throw the chard leaves in another pot of boiling water for a few seconds until limp, drain and purée in a blender. Add the chard purée to the pot with the beans and rice and stir to combine.
- Lastly, prepare the cilentro pesto: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet, add the mashed garlic and chopped cilantro and stir a few seconds until the cilantro softens and is fragrant. Add to the pot of beans and stir briefly. Serve.
NOTE: Kamal confirmed that the dish is Egyptian in origin.
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