I'm a terrible person. Sorry Eva, I just haven't had time to make it over for Sunday chi (hot tea). I'm aware of the other six days, but it just wouldn't be the same. My last meal- my last drink- before I leave town is always with you at Sahara.
I'm not expecting to be greeted by my first name, Dear, but don't be too harsh- no silent treatments. Don't sabotage my chi with sugar. We can still be civil. Besides, sipping on small gilded glasses can't be enjoyable in silence for you either.
It's only at your place where I can feast on boorek, ful medames, dolmas, pickled beets, assyrian briany, and cornish hens. It's only at your place where I can then push my stomach's limit with your scratch baklava and chi.
Since it's been so long, you can't blame me for attempting to make a surrogate dish. No, it isn't cheating, but please understand- I have my needs. And we both know when I make ful medames (fool meh-dah-mez), I take a Lebanese approach. Doesn't taste as good yours anyway.
I make ful medames the way I do because I try to make it taste like the kind I had in Blacksburg years ago. This is a very fuzzy memory, so I may not be preparing it similarly at all, but it's the goal I have in mind. I remember the dish as hot fava beans with garlic drowning in lemon juice, served with a giant balloon of bread. Shouldn't be too hard to replicate.
Start by cooking fava beans as deemed best by the package. Some say to soak overnight, others instruct to cook in a roaring boil for a few hours. I don't have the luxury of soaking overnight, so I put these on a high burner and wander off.
I return to find that my magical fruit has [at least] tripled in size. Definitely unforeseen, but I suppose it is progress. I prod the beans with a wooden spoon to check for texture, then pull them off the heat and drain.
Immediately I integrate finely diced garlic. The residual heat from the beans arouses a grand aroma. Salt, pepper, and olive oil go in. Only one more ingredient to go.
First I zest my lemons and mix them into the ful. Next, I carefully juice them upside down to keep everything pure from seeds. Despite my efforts, a few get in. Nothing a fork can't handle. Now I just need the ideal carbohydrate.
There are plenty of serving options for the beans. Naan, pita, inerja- the list goes on. I have some naan on hand so I quickly warm it over the stove. I spread the ful medames over the naan, and finish with another healthy squeeze of lemon juice. It has to be drowning in the citrus to be how I remember. I rip into the plate and gorge. The garlic is great as expected. Then the bright lemon juice cuts through the heavy beans on top of the chewy, but light, naan. It may not be as good as Eva's, or be in anyway similar to my first tasting in Blacksburg, but it's mine and provides instant gratification.