I never really was a big fan of beans but I developed a taste for foul (ful, pronouced like the word fool) when I was living in Yemen. Another one of my favorites in the yellow lentil soup which is popular in the levantine countries. The also have a popular egyptian dish called ful medamamas, but its kind of a different dish altogether. I think the Yemeni foul is similar to chili because of the spicy tomato sauce base. Its also especially good with a serving of fresh bread. This is one of the dishes which is eaten almost daily in Yemen for either breakfast or dinner, because it is inexpensive, easy to make, and of course it is also healthy. Some people mash the beans slightly for a chunky texture and some blend them in the blender with a bit of water for a smooth texture. Thats totally up to you.
1. Sautee the onions, chopped chili and garlic on medium heat in oil for 5-10 minutes until the onions brown slightly.
2. Add in the tomato and cook until the tomato dissolves a bit and you can see the oil turn red. About 10 minutes. Add the spices.
3. In the meantime, mash the beans with a potato masher (or the bottom of a clean can) or puree them in blender with a bit of water.
4. Then add the beans to the tomato mixture. Add about 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat for aound 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the water ratio and stir to make sure the beans don't burn. Add more water if needed. I prefer a consistency similar to a thick soup which can be eaten with bread. You can also add the salt at this point if you haven't already.
5. If you are making this for guests, a nice touch is to serve it in some kind of heated clay dish. (either like the one I used or I am thinking that those pots which they use for french onion soup would work well) and sprinkle fresh tomatoes/lettuce/cilantro on top with a bit of white cheese. It's totally optional but just dresses up an otherwise plain dish.