Easy Ful Medammes Recipe

Bowl of Fuul, a traditional Egyptian dish of pureed fava beans
Bowl of Ful, a traditional Egyptian dish of pureed fava beans. Getty Images/Clive Streeter
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
127 Calories
4g Fat
18g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 127
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 6g
Calcium 71mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you enjoy hummus, you will definitely like ful, which is a Middle Eastern fava bean dip reminiscent of the better-known spread made with chickpeas. The traditional way to enjoy it is scooped up with warm pita bread for breakfast, though it can be eaten at any time of day. This recipe is super simple -- no boiling of dried beans required!

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are probably the second most used bean, behind chickpeas, in Middle Eastern cuisine and particularly in Egyptian food. The word ful is, in fact, Egyptian for fava bean. They are a common ingredient in falafel and are sold fresh, dried or canned. This recipe, ful medames, is considered the national dish of Egypt. It consists of a stew made with cooked fava beans, oil, cumin, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and sometimes, chili pepper.

Fava beans themselves grow in a leathery pod and are generally harvested and eaten while still young and tender. Preparing them, however, is a bit different than with other pod beans. First the favas must be removed from the pods, similarly to the way peas are removed, and then steamed or parboiled. This will loosen the second exterior coating, allowing it to also be removed before using the beans. Conversely, chickpea skins do not need to be removed prior to eating.

In Egypt, fava beans are often fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and and spiced to be sold as a savory street snack. Although less common in the United States, the canned and dried favas can be found in ethnic and specialty stores. Fresh fava beans, when in season, can often be found at stores that sell gourmet produce. The bit of extra work to cook them is worth it but our recipe for ful medames uses canned fava beans for a quick, delicious and healthy dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (approximately 15 oz.) of fava beans
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional garnish: parsley (finely chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a saucepot, combine the fava beans, with their liquid), the minced garlic, and the fresh lemon juice. Bring it to a boil and then remove from heat.

  2. Drain the excess liquid and coarsely mash the fava beans with fork or a potato masher. Return the pot to a low heat. Add the tahini and salt, then add the hot water and the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Stir to your desired consistency. Add more water or olive oil, if needed and garnish with parsley, if desired.

  3. Serve ful for breakfast with hot pita bread.