Sunday, June 19, 2005

Singapore food log, day 1

My taxi from the airport to the hotel at 12:30am went along Arab
Street, and a couple of blocks before the hotel I saw some crowded
tables out on the street, so I walked back there once I had
established myself in my room. It was a Middle-Eastern restaurant
whose tables were set up on both sides of the street in front of
shuttered silk shops and money changers. Only a few other people were
having food at that hour; most were having drinks and hookahs in a
variety of cloying fruit flavors. Honestly, you see a big, scary,
authentic-looking tobacco-delivery vehicle like that and you expect
some raw, tarry, biting smell, not the smell of hot strawberry lip

I had a dish of Foul with Sausage, which came with soft pita bread,
and some grilled mushrooms. The Foul (mashed fava beans), was much
wetter than mine, which are more like a sort of Levantine refried
beans in consistency. They were also less gimicky and better. The
sausage was thinly sliced in the beans. It was not the conspicuously
lamby kind I've had in Moroccan restaurants; it tasted more like
Spanish chorizo, although I'm sure it had no pork in it. There were
shredded, fried shallots sprinkled on top; I suspect this is the local
touch. The grilled mushrooms came over so much parsley that I had to
eat some. They had a strong charcoal-grill character but no other
sauce or spicing. I wish I knew how to make their Foul, but instead I
will insert

David's Levantine Refritos

3 cans fava beans (Foul)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried mint (or 2 teabags full)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 large cloves garlic
drizzle olive oil

Pour off about 1/2 of the liquid in the cans of beans; put the beans,
the rest of their liquid, and the lemon juice, cumin and mint in, and
simmer for a while (maybe 1/2 hour?) until the beans start to fall
apart. Then use a garlic press to squeeze the garlic in, mix it in
thoroughly, put into a shallow dish and drizzle olive oil on top.


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't like parsley??? Your father doesn't either. I wonder if there is some genetic factor?


At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea to use tea bags for mint!!

If the fava beans are salty, you might want to pour off all the liquid and substitute something else, preferably something less salty.

Other again

At 7:05 AM, Blogger nightquill said...

I like parsley fine, I just feel embarassed eating it when it's supposed to be a decoration.

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Mams said...

I don't think the parsley is supposed to be a decoration. I think that is an American notion.

In an earlier life, I used to go to a Lebanese restaurant in Groton, CT named "Diana's" that served a salad made primarily of broken-up pitas and parsley. The parsley was treated as a lettuce.

The more intense the color of a veggie, the more good stuff it contains.


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