This completely vegan dish of mashed lima beans flavored with garlic, Berbere Spice Mix, and lemon juice can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner alongside some rice or as part of a larger spread of dishes for a big Eritrean meal. If you’re not vegan, try it with a soft-boiled or fried egg on top. Shahan ful is very similar to ful medames, a staple Egyptian dish of mashed fava beans. For this recipe, we use frozen lima beans, making it incredibly quick to prepare and fresher tasting, since you don’t have to soak and cook dried beans. If you want to cook this ahead of time, let it cool, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week, and rewarm gently in a saucepan over low heat (stirring as it heats) before serving.
- Place the cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, peppercorns, cardamom, and allspice in a small heavy skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the smell is very aromatic and the spices are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the mixture to a clean coffee grinder, add the chiles and onion flakes, and grind to a fine powder (or use a mortar and pestle and some elbow grease). Transfer the ground spices to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and sift. regrind whatever large pieces remain in the sieve and add them to the bowl with the ground spices. Add the paprika, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk well to combine and transfer the mixture to an airtight jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
- Warm the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and minced jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the berbere and salt and cook, stirring, until very aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the lima beans, tomato, and water and stir well to combine with the aromatics. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all of the flavors have a chance to get to know each other, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and use a potato masher to crush the beans until they’re the texture of mashed potatoes. Season the mixture to taste with salt and serve immediately, while hot, topped with the sliced jalapeños. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days and rewarmed in a heavy pot set over low heat (stir while you heat.)
Reprinted with permission from In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.