Yesterday I had a lunch comprised largely of bean products seasoned in a mediterranean/middle eastern way. I made chickpea flour pancakes by mixing half a cup of the flour with about the same amount of water, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of dried thyme. I made two pancakes (fried on a tiny bit of oil on a pan), but I could have easily made three thinner ones from this amount of batter. They were nice and aromatic thanks to the thyme, but next time I´d let the water absorb the flour for a longer time (a few hours), as it is often seen in recipes using chickpea flour. There are also recipes where you don´t fry the pancakes but bake them in the oven – I will tackle those some other day.
I served the pancakes with a variation on hummus made from canned fava beans (since I had a can that needed to go…). First I sauteed thin sliced onion with a clove of minced garlic, then added the beans and a pinch of salt. After ten minutes I transferred the mix into a blender, added about a tablespoon of ume plum vinegar, a tablespoon of tahini and 1/4 tsp of cumin and blended adding some water as required. This is SO much better if you use freshly cooked fava beans though! Sadly the can cannot compare (maybe because it wasn´t organic beans, but from the local turkish shop, the quality is not the same).
I also sauteed some finely cut kale with chinese cabbage and towards the end seasoned with tamari and mixed in raw rucola (arugula). The combination of these three dishes was a good idea 🙂
I reeeeally love hummus. Yet, I DID not plan to make it that day. It kind of…happened. I soaked fava beans overnight, then spent a looong time peeling their irritating skins off (they are too hard to digest), pressure cooked them for 45 minutes, and…they turned into something resembling porridge. They just totally fell apart. Too long cooking time, I assume. Anyway, that was their way to tell me to make hummus. So I heated them up in another pot (there was more than enough water still), added salt, cumin powder, lemon juice, chopped garlic (optional) and a good spoonful or two of tahini. Just a few stirs, some minutes to let it thicken, and voila, fava beans hummus is born! Really good stuff! Not the same as chickpea hummus, but not worse.
As a grain I had sweet millet cooked with hokkaido pumpkin (just 20 minutes and it´s ready). And I blanched some chinese cabbage, green beans and kale with it.
Here is another Very Easy Recipe for a quick macrobiotic plate – cooked amaranth (this time I cooked 1 part of amaranth to 3 parts of water and it ended up much better than just 2 parts of water!), steamed carrots and onions (steamed onions become really really sweet, my favourite veggie to steam!), a spoonful of sauerkraut (I got one with juniper in it, be sure to get organic sauerkraut which has nothing but cabbage and salt in it, or some herbs, but no sweetener or vinegar!) and green fava beans from the can.
Here in Holland I found a new love – fava beans, otherwise known as broad beans. Never had them before, but here they sell them a lot, and I got mine at my favourite Turkish shop where you can get legumes in bulk for great prices.
You can buy them in Chinatown as a fried snack, but honestly, that didn´t impress me – I want to try and fry my own batch one day.
What I really loved though was making bessara out of them – that is supposedly a Moroccan dish. You need:
1 1/2 cup of cooked fava beans (don´t forget to soak them overnight and then cook for about an hour or more, and most of all, don´t forget to PEEL them before cooking…I didn´t know that…luckily in this dish it is not SO important if your blender is strong enough…)
1/3 cup of olive oil (I´d use a bit less next time)
1 1/2 tsp salt
juice from half a lemon (I´d use less next time if you don´t want your dish too sour)
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder (I used piri-piri)
a few cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
Mix all in a blender (you probably will need to add quite some water). The bessara should be liquid enough to pour out of the blender into a bowl. It is usually eaten warm, so I transferred it into a pot and heated up. I don´t eat bread normally, so I spread mine on rice cakes, but I can imagine it would be great with a pita bread or something similar…
Unfortunately, no picture 😦