tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do not pity the fuul

An Arab Foodie blog? Why didn't I think of that?

One of the newest Middle Eastern blogs, from blog-mad Egypt, is called al-Masri al-Yum (a play on the Arabic al-Masri al-Youm, a popular Egyptian newspaper whose name translates as Egypt Today). The site offers recipes, reviews, snarky critiques of Egyptian food culture, and plenty of steaming hot puns.

Its authors give the following reasons for starting the blog:
"First, complaining about Egyptian food is a hardy perennial Cairo whine amongst khawagat and others. As an alternative to whining, we’re suggesting a more constructive activity: Learning to cook.

"Second, while we enjoy the restaurant reviews in some of our favorite local publications, we often find them a bit milquetoast for our tastes, sometimes reading like glorified press releases.

"Third, we love food, and it is sometimes very difficult to write about it, so we’ll try to sharpen our skills."
Check out the site here. Without further ado, here is al-Masri al-Yum's recipe for that most basic and delicious of Egyptian dishes, fuul:

Umm Lady HaSha’s Fuul
The recipe as written will feed a brunch full of hungry people. Feel free to scale up or down as you wish.
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 green pepper, coarse chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • .5 tsp of salt, pepper and cumin
  • 4 cans of fuul (not the mashed beans, the cans with the whole beans. They are called “fuul medammis bil-khalta al-misriyya”)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Juice of 1 lime
Saute the onions in oil on low heat. Add garlic and pepper. Add tomatoes and spices. Add fuul and tomato paste. Stir occasionally, maintaining low heat throughout. Add lime juice. Taste it. Add more spices or lime to taste. Serve immediately.

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