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History Cookbook: Ful Medames

This recipe is in categories Prehistoric, Breakfast, Healthy eating, Starters, Vegetarian
About this recipe
Healthiness : (325 votes)
Difficulty:  3 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: The fava beans (broad beans) need cooking for some time. Care needs to be taken when straining them - it is easy to get splashed with boiling water! If you do, run the scald under a cold tap for at least 3 minutes.

The garlic can be crushed instead of chopped.

The parsley needs a sharp knife to chop it properly - great care must be taken.
Preparation Time: 20 mins + soaking time
Cooking Time: 1-2 hours
Number of servings: 4
Serving suggestions: Serve on warm pitta bread with sliced hard boiled eggs and onion. Fried eggs and onions are often used as well.
This is a vegetarian recipe

Ful medames was originally peasant food in Ancient Egypt. However, it has developed almost into a national dish and is now popular street food. It is very filling and makes a useful part of breakfast before a day's fasting during Ramadan.

The name is derived from Egyptian: ful is the word for fava beans and medames means buried. Originally the beans and water would have been buried in a pot (with a lid) under the hot coals and would have been slow cooked for some hours.

Fava beans, or broad beans, were one of the crops that the early farmers grew. Beans and peas are quite easily dried and so able to be kept when not in season. If dried fava beans are used, then they will need soaking overnight before using the recipe.

The ingredients vary today according to taste - the following recipe is simple - add tomatoes and/or your own favourite spices to your liking. In fact, many sorts of beans would be tasty cooked like this.
  • 230 gm (8 oz) fava or broad beans (if dried soak overnight)- if fresh, shelled.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or other spice you like (optional)

  • Saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Garlic crusher
  • Masher or blender
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Put the fresh or soaked beans into a saucepan with water and cook until tender (1-2 hrs)
  2. Meanwhile, chop or crush the garlic, squeeze the lemon and chop the parsley
  3. When the beans are cooked, strain them
  4. Mash them with the oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and salt and cumin or other spice - if used
    (You could use a blender for a smoother texture but is is generally eaten quite coarse)
  5. Serve warm
Ful Medames - print view  Ful Medames - print view

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Name: Crashyboy 26th June 2012
me and my family had a meal from each era.
we had these for prehistoric with the kebabs and pitta. they were brilliant! :-)
Name: Ali 29th October 2009
thankyou I was lookng for a recipe for ful medames, for an egyptian project I was doing, and well I found it event though I had to double the ingredients, so more then 4 people could have a taste. THANKS!
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