Monday, 26 April 2010

Moroccan broad/fava beans with Olive Oil - Foul bezzeit

It's still time to get good and fresh fava beans over here (In Morocco) and we just got good ones from some fields around here; we've got some kilos from My sis' friend this weekend and here is what we made out of a couple of kilos: a yummy foul bezzeit (foul = broad beans, zeit = olive oil)..

Foul bezzeit is a very simple cooked Moroccan entrée , yet, it depends on the freshness of the broad beans and the taste of olive oil used, which of course should be extra virgin unfiltered olive oil.

We love this cooked entrée so much in Fes that it's served every single day by all families you can visit in one specific day! It's a must-have on the table especially when in season. Thanks to the freezer, broad beans are available all year around and they find their ways to many other dishes.

When the broad beans are young and fresh, we tend to cook
 them along with some of their outer skin as it tastes even better

Ingredients
Serves 4 to 6 pax
Preparation: 10 mins/Cooking time: 20 +10 mins

- 1 kg of fresh broad/fava beans
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 good cup of coriander, chopped
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1 lemon
- 1 chili (optional)
- Water (enough to cover the beans in the pot)

Serve with
- 1 lemon, cut in wedges
- 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

These broad beans are slightly older (skin is tougher that the young ones)
which is why they look slighly darker in colour.

Preparation
 
Prepare the broad beans

Remove the seeds from the beans "holder", without peeling the broad/fava beans from their shell (see photo). Make a small cut in each bean to help cooking properly throughout.

Before we cook the beans , we remove their "Hat" which looks like a nail
and give a slit from the top for better cooking

Boil/steam the broad beans

Place the broad beans in a pressure cooker with salt and lemon wedges  (The lemon is important because it prevents the beans from darkening). Cover with water and cook on medium heat for 20 min or until the beans are tender: squeeze one bean and see if it became "buttery", that means it's done.
 
You can either cook the broad beans using a pressure cooker or a heavy sauce pan or literally steam them (see picture below). The first both options are more common.

In the first stage of cooking, you should end up with fairly green broad beans. They should not darken because that is a sacrilege: dark foul bezzeit is not a good sign if you are serving this to a good Moroccan mother-in-law or any Moroccan who knows his food.

Steaming the broad beans is one of my aunty's ways to tackle the first
stage of cooking fool bezzit.

Spice up the broad beans with chermoula

Reduce the water and add the spices, wedges of preserved lemon and chopped coriander.

Let simmer for another 10 min to allow the ingredients infuse their taste. Correct the seasoning.
 
I love foul bezzeit when inside is buttery and comes out easily.
 It's so comforting

Once the cooking is finished, add the olive oil and serve hot at at least at room temperature with some  dices of Moroccan preserved lemons if you have some..A good harissa would be nice to have on the side for this.



This cooked salad can be kept in the fridge for up to a week but it's at its best in the first 3 days.

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