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Middle Eastern Bean Spread (Salatet Ful Abiad)


For millennia, Middle Easterners have been making spreads from legumes. Although most Westerners are familiar with a chickpea mixture called hummus, bean spreads are also common throughout the region. Indeed, some Middle Eastern hummus mixtures contain a little fava beans as well, producing an averse reaction in those who are allergic to the latter legume.



Heat two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly colored but not burnt.


Add the beans, cayenne, lemon juice, and salt and cook until the mixture is dry, two to four minutes.


Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of oil.


Spoon into a bowl or crock and refrigerate for at least three hours and up to two days.


If desired, invert onto a serving plate and sprinkle with the paprika and/or parsley. Serve with pita bread or crackers.



Bissara (Moroccan Bean Spread): Add 2 teaspoons ground cumin.

Bakla Ezmesi (Turkish Bean Spread): Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill.