Foul is a staple on iftar and sahoor tables across the Middle East during Ramadan. The varieties are endless, each region and country has its own style, but in my household in Riyadh one recipe reigns supreme — my mother’s mystical Hijazi incense foul.
Sounds like a mouthful? Well, trust me, after reading this recipe you will be eager to try a mouthful for yourself. It’s smoky, spicy and imbued with a tinge of oriental flavors.
This recipe has been enjoyed in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia since time immemorial and it is a firm favorite during the Holy Month in my home, so whip it up for iftar this evening and enjoy.
• 1 medium chopped onion.
• 2 medium chopped tomatoes.
• 1 small chili, finely chopped
• Two teaspoons of salt, half-a-teaspoon of black pepper, one-and-a-half-teaspoons of cumin, a quarter-of-a-teaspoon of cinnamon and half-a-teaspoon of dried coriander.
• One can of foul moudammas.
• A quarter-of-a-cup of olive oil.
• One lit charcoal pellet.
Drizzle the olive oil into a heated pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until they are soft and add the tomatoes, chili and the spices. Add the foul and smash it inside the pan until it is well mixed with the onions and tomatoes.
Add a quarter-of-a-cup of water, place a lid on the pan and cook for 20 minutes.
Check on the foul, if it’s a bit dry simply add some more water and stir the mixture.
Now for the fun part: Rip off a piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half. Place it directly on the foul. Drizzle a little olive oil in the middle and immediately place the burning charcoal on the aluminum foil and fold it up.
Replace the lid on the pan, let it rest for a minute or so and then remove the charcoal and aluminum paper.
Serve in a casserole dish, drizzle olive oil on top and enjoy the smoky, delicious flavor of this unmissable meal.