What’s for breakfast today?
A consistent breakfast to kick-off your day, as most nutritionists would say, should consist of a meal balanced with proteins, fat, starch and fiber. And that’s what is provided by a traditional Lebanese breakfast of foul mdammas, balila and fatteh!
Pulses, more specifically fava bean and chickpeas, are at the base of this old-styled breakfast consumed not only in Lebanon but in other neighboring countries like Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt etc.
In Lebanon, this popular breakfast which has been served in specialized restaurants only, is gaining popularity and being listed on the menu of many Lebanese cuisine restaurants. Following the migration of Syrian refugees to the country, new restaurants have been established, serving Syrian versions of foul and hommous.
Besides being eaten for breakfast, these dishes are also served as hot mezze or side dishes for lunch.
Foul mdammas or mudammas (foul pronounced “fool”) is prepared with cooked fava beans (broad beans) seasoned with garlic, olive oil, cumin and lemon juice, and served with vegetables such as fresh mint leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and green onions. Chili pepper is added according to preference, and tahini sauce is sometimes added. Foul mdammas is better enjoyed with pita bread.
Historical findings show evidence of the production and use of foul back to Ancient Egypt, and historians suggest that Egypt is more likely the place of origin of this dish.
Balila or hot chickpea salad consists of boiled chickpeas combined with olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice and cumin. It is usually served hot with pita bread. Fresh parsley is sprinkled on top before serving.
Another vegetarian option for breakfast – or lunch – is Fattit hommous which combines cooked chickpeas, minced garlic, fresh laban or yogurt and baked pita bread. Fried pine nuts and cashew nuts can also be added. A different version would include Tahini sauce instead of yogurt.
Msabaha is another plate to be added to this series: it is similar to Hommous b tahini but while the chickpeas are grounded for the first, the pulses remain whole for the msabaha, giving this dish a crunchier texture.
Nutritious facts about chickpeas:
Chickpeas are popular little legumes that make a tasty and healthy treat! These peas have long been prized for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their exceptional levels of iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. Most of the fiber found in chickpeas is “insoluble” fiber which is excellent for blood sugar regulation, digestive health and hunger control. Indeed, given their nutritious composition, chickpeas can help you control your weight by making you feel full for a longer period of time.
(1 Tablespoon = 46 calories)