Syrian Recipes

Audrey Assad’s Instant Pot Syrian Bean Dip (Ful)

Ful is a Middle Eastern warm fava bean dish traditionally served at breakfast; much as with guacamole, everyone likes to eat it their own certain way. I really enjoy it as a mash, so I smash the cooked fava beans, but some people prefer it more like a bean stew–feel free to experiment and see what makes you feel happiest with this!

Ingredients:

(serves 6-8)

  • 20 oz blanched/skinless dried fava beans (I use these
  • 1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • juice of two lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt to taste

any of these are optional, for serving:

  • diced cucumber
  • diced tomato
  • chickpeas
  • minced red onion

Instructions:

There is no need to soak the dried beans ahead of time when using the pressure cooking method.

Rinse and sort through dried fava beans and place into instant pot. Fill with enough cold water to cover the beans by approximately two inches. Add diced onions and crushed garlic. (Leave the salt out til after beans are cooked.)

Set instant pot to 60 minutes on a manual setting. You may manually release the pressure, especially if you are not planning to mash the beans fully, but natural release is also fine.

Drain remaining liquid, if any, and transfer beans to a serving dish or (if you’re me) back into the instant pot for easy transport.

Add olive oil slowly until desired softness and moisture is reached. Some water may also be added if necessary.

Add tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt.

Mash or stir to desired consistency.

Serve warm, with any or all of the optional toppings if desired; you may also serve some pita bread or veggie sticks for dipping.

Audrey Assad’s Baharat Spice Mix

Baharat is an Arabic spice mix that is wonderful in savory foods–fish, chicken, meatballs, rice, or anything you feel is missing some warmth and fragrance! Cinnamon in savory foods might not be something we are all used to, but I think you’ll love it if you try it. Everyone has their own version, and this is mine. Enjoy!

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp Aleppo Chili or chili flake

Tabbouleh

  • chopped flat leaf parsley
  • chopped fresh mint or dry mint
  • 2-3 tablespoons fine bulgur
  • chopped tomato
  • 1/2 onion or 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bulgur according to instructions. Toss together all the ingredients and serve.

Grape Leaves

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 2 lb jar grape/vine leaves
  • 1 handful Syrian mint (or regular if you cannot find the original)
  • 2 ½ bulbs garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced and separated
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt

Cook the rice according to instructions.

Line a large pot with the slices of potatoes. In a large bowl, combine the rice, meat, mint, garlic, juice from 1 lemon, salt, and pepper.

Flatten one grape leaf out. Remove the hard stem. Add approximately 1 tbsp of the meat and rice mixture at the bottom of the leaf. Roll the leaf, gently folding in the sides of the leaf as you roll tightly up.

Line the rolled grape leaves in the pot, alternating directions with each layer. Cover grape leaves with a small plate to weigh them down. Add the remaining lemon juice and enough water covers all the grape leaves.

Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until meat inside is completely cooked through.

Hummus

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until a smooth consistency. Add more oil if necessary to smooth.