Thursday, October 4, 2012

Egyptian "Ful Medamas" (fava bean hummus)

 Ful Medamas ( an Egyptian Fava Bean dish) is a simple vegan recipe that packs a lot of taste and nutritional powerMy husband, who grew up eating " ful" ( pronounced fool), says that when he was a kid, he always felt strong and healthy after eating a bowl of "ful". It's not surprising since fava beans are a very rich source if iron, fiber and other healthy minerals.

It may look and sound a little strange, but I assure you that ethnic food has been the cornerstone of  healthy civilizations for centuries. Fava beans are thought to date back to the Pharoes!

Ful Medamas is popular in many Middle Eastern countries  It  is sold on the streets of Cairo similarly to the way we sell hot dogs on the streets of New York. 

The first time I ate " ful", I had to acquire a little bit of a taste for it because I had never tried anything like it!

However, it didn't take long before I was sold on this new bean ( for me)  and was digging in with everyone else. When I say digging in , I mean that literally. Everyone in our family eats their" ful" with some warm pita bread and literally just digs in.

Since I'v become gluten free, I take my ful first and eat my ful on a plate or with romaine lettuce leaves. It's sort of like refried beans that haven't been fried. I must tell you that "ful"  is filling no matter how you eat it !!

My husband's family traditionally eats their ful with a stalk of scallion in their hand .The cooked fava beans are mashed with olive oil and lemon juice and some salt ( eat this dish while the beans are hot)Each person gets a scallion stalk, takes a bite of scallion, and then takes a bite of ful and then a bite of  bread.

I don't know if that's a Middle Eastern custom or if it's It is just the way my husband's family eats their ful.

Ful is economical; I bought a bag of dried fava beans  for $2.99. (  you can also buy it cooked in a can)


 This bag of dried beans makes enough ful medamas for about 3 generous meals for a family of four. However, you don't need to keep eating it all week until its gone;  cooked ful can be frozen.

The best part is that I cook the beans in a crock pot, making the prep to cook the beans about 3 minutes and cooking time about 9 hours.( you can also buy ful or fava beans in cans already cooked but I like to make my own)

Fava Beans in Crock ( this is what was left after we ate most of them)

I forgot to mention that in Egypt, Foul Medamas, is traditionally eaten for breakfast!! but we eat it for dinner.

The flavor of the beans is bland and simple. However, It comes alive when you mash the cooked beans with salt, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.You can go crazy and add chopped tomato, chopped onion, some cumin etc.

In addition, if you are not vegan, you can add chopped hard boiled eggs if you desire. It can be quite a tasty and filling meal.

If you have never eaten fava beans, now is your chance.
They are easy to cook, easy to fix, and easy to eat!
So, Get out that crock pot and get ready for some tasty fixings!

You can purchase fava beans in any Middle Eastern ethnic store or purchase online from Amazon

If you are not that adventurous, you can purchase cooked fava beans in a can and follow the recipe.

1 bag dried brown fava beans, soaked overnight  and drained. ( or use a can of cooked fava beans)
juice of 2 whole lemons- or less -your choice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil or less - your choice
chopped scallions ( optional)
Chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, cumin ( optional)
2 hard boiled eggs ( optional), chopped

Soak fava beans overnight, discard water and put into crock pot. Cover with water and cook on high for 9 -10 hours. When beans are nice and soft, drain and place in a bowl . This recipe feeds 12 hungry " ful" eaters.

If you are just 2 adults ( unlikely that kids will try or like this) ,  prepare a cup and half  or two cups of beans and freeze the rest. Divide it in two containers for another time.

Put in jars to freeze ( leave a little space for expansion in the freezer)

Vegan Style : Make sure beans are hot when you eat them -WE Mash cooked beans with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and chopped scallions. Eat with romaine lettuce leaves or gluten free bread. ( you can add chopped onions, tomatoes, and cumin)

Vegetarians: Mash hot beans with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper, chopped scallions and chopped hard boiled eggs ( and chopped tomatoes, cumin, and chopped onions). Eat with romaine lettuce leaves or gluten free bread.

** if you are not gluten free- dig in with warm pita bread.
Have you ever eaten " Ful Medamas" ? How do you eat it? 

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I'll be sharing this post on the following blog carnivals this week:


  1. My Lebanese son-in-law's father often made Ful for us when visiting. I have spent time in Egypt and every morning I would order Ful which came with an egg, thin slices of a delicious cheese and pita. Soooo delicious. I adore it and have fava beans in my pantry right now. Very filling, very nourishing, I find it a comfort food. happy to see this on your blog.

  2. YUM! I had completely forgotten about ful. We used to get it at a great restaurant when we lived nearer to a real city - not an option any more, but I can probably still find dried favas. Thanks so much!

  3. I've never heard of this - what a fabulous meal! Nutritious, simple, easy to make; and, as you said, you can play with it to make it more your own. How wonderful!

  4. This is something I've not heard of. Thank you for sharing this dish--nutritional info as well as customs. How interesting! Would definitely beat the pants off of my morning bowl of boring cereal. Thanks for linking with See Ya In the Gumbo this week.

  5. We love ful. Hubby makes it all the time and is a healthy alternative to boxed cereals. It wakes up your mouth in the morning; that's for sure!

  6. That sounds delicious, thank you for sharing :)

  7. Love this recipe. I Love Ful. I spent some time in the Middle East. My mother in law would simply cook them in a pot and we would snack on the beans, slipping the skins off as we ate. Yumm. Some people can be allergic, however.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

  8. I didn't know you could freeze the jars!!!

    Thanks for the recipe and the tip. I was already following w/GFC but now I'm following w/linky too. I'm visiting from the blog hop at Katherine's Corner today. :)

  9. This sounds absolutely tasty. Like hummus but with a different type of bean! I also like the egg addition to add an extra source of protein. Totally trying this!

  10. YUMMY! We are hummus fans so I think we'd like this! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! Thanks for helping get our party kicked off this week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you'll join us this week! Cindy from

  11. What a great dish, this would be awesome! Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. This sounds delicious!

    Thanks for sharing on Healthy Vegan Friday!

  13. The lemon probably gives the beans a much need zing and the tomatoes probably bring the whole thing together. Haven't cooked lava beans in ages thanks for sharing them on foodie friday.

  14. This looks and sounds great! I am up for trying anything different! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,


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