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Ful Medames

This recipe is in categories Prehistoric, Breakfast, Healthy eating, Starters, Vegetarian,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: 3
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.


Making and cooking it
  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