It is my husband's birthday week and, in our family, the birthday person gets to pick all the week's meals. And that means that some members of the family have figured out that they can take great advantage of this tradition. Which in turn means that I mostly get to cook meals that they love, with no room for new recipes. So, the blog suffers as no new content gets made.

This week's menu choices have been, among other things, Benedict (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats) Cajun SteaK, Twice-Baked Crispy Gluten, Chickpeas and Dumplings (another one in Everyday Vegan Eats), Mama's Bean Soup (in Everyday Vegan Eats), Corned Cabbage (another in EVE! - I told you it is our family's favorite meals), Seitan a la King,  Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce, etc. Yes, hubby loves seitan!

But I did manage to squeeze in this Israeli sandwich, which happens to be a traditional breakfast sandwich! I love to discover breakfast meals from other parts of the world because they tend to be more than just sweets or variations on bacon and eggs.

Now that I said that, I do have to clarify that the original does come with hard cooked eggs. We'll disregard that part, though.

Most cultures will take something that is leftover and transform it into a breakfast meal and this shows to be true time and time again. Take this sandwich for instance. The eggs are cooked beforehand. The hummus is made before, as well as the eggplant, being leftover from another meal. Maybe the salad is made fresh, but the rest is just from some other time, all stuffed into a fluffy pita bread.

Most of the rest of the world doesn't have roasted eggplant leftover or hummus, for that matter, although the hummus aspect is coming true in most households nowadays.

Whether you have this as a breakfast meal or for lunch or dinner, let's try to make this as pain free as possible.

Because I have omitted the eggs I wanted to replace it with something carb and protein rich and because ful medames are already a Middle Eastern breakfast staple, I figured that cooking fava beans with the eggplant made sense.

The fava beans you are looking for are these:

They are not the large fresh favas, but instead younger beans that are cooked and canned so you don't have to blanch and peel them individually.

You cook the eggplant first to soften before adding the fava beans and then continue to cook it until tender and broken down. This is a nice compromise between having leftover fried eggplant and cooking it fresh separate from the beans.

If you don't have hummus, whip up a fresh batch, otherwise use any store-bought or homemade hummus you have. 

The salad is an essential component consisting of basic ingredients such as cucumber, parsley, tomato, onion and lemon juice.

The most intriguing part of this sandwich is the mango sauce (Amba) which was originally brought to the Middle East by way of India's mango chutney. In addition to the mango sauce, there is typically tahini sauce on the sandwich (a rip on toom sauce). 

I love toom sauce (there is a cashew-based toom in Vegan Bowls and an authentic one in Aquafaba) and I love mango chutney and the easiest way to make the two is to combine them. Best of both in one sauce. I have to say that this is an amazing sauce so if you make nothing but the sauce you are still a winner. 

After all those components are done, make your sandwich and eat it, too. 

Short cuts: hummus, salad, sauce. Make the eggplant-fava bean ahead or the same day, either way it'll be delish.

Sabich - Israeli Sandwich
Serves 4

1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 jalapeno chile, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (15-ounce) can fava beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped or shaved
1/2 small onion, shaved or sliced thin
1/4 cup parsley, minced
Fresh lemon juice, to taste

6 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons mango chutney
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 pita breads
1/2 cup shaved cabbage

1. Sautee: Combine the eggplant, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cumin and paprika in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the eggplant softens, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fava beans and broth and continue to cook covered until the eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until there is no more broth left in the pot. Season with salt and black pepper. 
2. Salad: Combine the tomato, cucumber, onion and parsley in a medium bowl. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. 
3. Sauce: Add the garlic to a food processor or blender and process to mince. Add the tahini, chutney, water and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add a little more water if needed. The sauce should be pourable but still thick. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, warm the pita and split. Spread with hummus and add the bean mixture. Top with the salad, cabbage and the sauce. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.