Ful medames, also known as foul mudammas or ful/foul, is a traditional breakfast or brunch meal popular across the Middle East. It is a vegan meal of cooked fava beans flavoured with garlic, and spices. It is commonly eaten for sahur (dawn meal) during Ramadan because it is filling and nourishing.
Like most meals, there are variations in ful medames recipe depending on who is making it and where – Some mash the fava beans, others do not. Some add tahini, and others add chickpea; so many different toppings are added to this meal, depending on preference. However, the similarities across all recipes I have seen for this Middle Eastern breakfast are the fava beans, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
I will share Egyptian ful medames/foul mudammas recipe in this post. These creamy Egyptian breakfast beans are seasoned with ground cumin for a full-on flavour and are delicious, scooped up with warm pitta bread.
Ful is traditionally prepared with dried fava beans, slowly cooked in copper pots overnight until tender. However, I will be using canned fava beans for my recipe as it is more convenient.
What Are Fava Beans
Fava beans are widely grown worldwide and are one of the most ancient cultivated crops. It is botanically known as Vicia faba. Fava beans are dried mature seeds of beans that belong to the same species as the green broad beans popular in the UK and US. It is also known as faba beans and horse beans. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre.
The young green beans are eaten as a vegetable. They are abundant in spring and typically sold in their pods. However, they quickly go out of season while the canned and dried beans are available all year round.
Dried fava beans are more popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines and are sold as whole or split beans. The dried beans have a rich, creamy taste which makes it work for the Egyptian ful recipe, where beans are mashed. Dried fava beans are also used to make soups (Moroccan bessara, Mexican sopa de habas etc.), Ta’ameya (Egyptian falafel), curries and more.
How To Make Egyptian Ful Medames
Here are the ingredients you need...
A few notes about the ingredients
- Toppings: Tomatoes and parsley are only two of the various toppings for foul mudammas. Others include tabbouleh, sliced radishes, pickled peppers and vegetables, chopped coriander, eggs, olives, chickpeas, Egyptian falafel, etc.
- Fava Beans: I used canned fava beans for this ful medames breakfast recipe as it is quicker and easier to find in the UK. If you prefer to cook the beans yourself, use the brown dried beans, not green fava beans. You do not need to remove the skin on the beans. If you choose to use dried fava beans, see how to cook below.
How To Cook Dried Fava Beans
Pick any dirt out of the beans and wash under cold to clean. Soak the beans completely submerged in water overnight, then discard the soaking liquid and rinse.
Pressure Cooker: Pour into a pressure cooker. Use 2 cups of water/cup of dry beans. Lock the lid of the pressure into place and increase the heat. Once it starts to whistle, reduce the heat and leave to cook for 30 mins. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally for around 10 mins or run under a cold tap for 3 mins, then open.
On the Hob: add a fresh batch of water into a pan and simmer at low heat for between 1-1 ½ or hours until beans are tender.
How To Make Ful Medames
Open the fava beans cans. Pour the beans into a colander and rinse under cold water.
Add the beans into a pan with two cups of water. Place on the hob at low heat and allow to simmer.
Wash the lemon and squeeze the juice into a bowl.
Peel and chop the garlic, then pour into a mortar and mash well with the pestle.
Add the mashed garlic to the lemon juice bowl, then add the cumin.
Remove the beans from heat when most of the water is absorbed. It should take around 20 mins.
Use a potato masher or wooden spatula to mash the beans coarsely.
Add the lemon, garlic and cumin mixture. Taste for salt and add some if needed.
Serve in a bowl and top with extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and chopped tomatoes.
You will find fava beans in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean stores. Here are Amazon links to canned fava beans and dry fava beans.
Indeed, keep ful medames without any of the toppings in the freezer. It will keep for a few weeks.
Other North African recipes to try...
Fish Sharwarma Wrap
Red Chermoula Fish With Couscous
Potato masher, Pressure cooker, mortar and pestle
Egyptian Ful Medames
- 2 cans Fava Beans drained (500g)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 Juice of lemon
- 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Chopped parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cherry tomatoes
- Open the fava beans cans. Pour the beans into a colander and rinse under cold water.
- Add the beans into a pan with two cups of water. Place on the hob at low heat and allow to simmer.
- Wash the lemon and squeeze the juice into a bowl.
- Peel and chop the garlic, then pour into a mortar and mash well with the pestle. Add the mashed garlic to the lemon juice bowl, then add the cumin.
- Remove the beans from heat when most of the water is absorbed. It should take around 20 mins. Use a potato masher or wooden spatula to mash the beans coarsely.
- Add the lemon, garlic and cumin mixture. Taste for salt and add some if needed.
- Serve in a bowl and top with extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and chopped tomatoes.
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