Foul mudammas or ful medames is a creamy traditional breakfast in Egypt and the Levant area of the Middle East. It’s a hearty, warm stew made up of mashed fava beans topped with chopped vegetables, warm spices and a drizzle of tahini and olive oil. This wholesome, comforting breakfast is typically served with warm pita.
It’s easy to see why these Egyptian fava beans (or broad beans) have been served all over the world for years. It’s a creamy, sumptuous dish with warm, mouthwatering aromas and earthy spices. Made with mashed fava beans, chopped bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, ground cumin, ground cayenne pepper with olive oil and tahini drizzled on top, it’s a humble dish with plenty of flavor and nutrition.
On a recent trip I had this several mornings for breakfast when I travelled throughout Egypt. Warm fresh pita dipped into the flavorful dish was a revelation… not your typical pancake or egg breakfast!
In this foul mudammas recipe, you’ll find robust Middle Eastern spices and some delightful, signature Mediterranean flavors. The two cuisines often feature similar ingredients that make up wholesome, flavorful dishes like Greek beans and falafels.
This rich, hearty ful medames reminds me of how versatile beans are. They’re packed with nutrients and can be the simple centerpiece of any dish, like a cozy Lebanese lentil soup.
This bean dish is more a dip than a stew or soup, and it’s wonderful served with fresh, warm pita bread. Make it for breakfast, dinner, or something in between and you’ll have a new comfort food in your repertoire!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Fava Beans – I like to soak dried fava beans overnight for the freshest-tasting option. You can also use canned fava beans for a much quicker prep time, too if you forget the night before!
- Garlic – The more the merrier!
- Green Bell Pepper – adds a slight crunch texture and flavor. Different variations of peppers can be used per your preferences, and you can even throw in any other vegetables that you like.
- Roma Tomato – You can top your ful medames however you’d like, but I think diced tomatoes add a nice fresh, sweet burst of flavor.
- Red Onion – diced, these add a bit of punch and crunch.
- Tahini – creamy sesame paste is a must and adds so much creaminess!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Drizzling some quality extra virgin olive oil on top brings some robust, earthy flavors and aromas that are impossible to resist.
- Cumin – A necessary spice to load this dish up with lots of warm, earthy flavor.
- Cayenne – adds a bit of a spicy kick, optional.
- Pita – Fresh, warm pita bread is my favorite way to scoop up and enjoy these Egyptian fava beans.
HOW TO MAKE FOUL MUDAMMAS
- Use Canned or Soak Beans. If you are using dried fava beans, rinse them and place them in a container. Cover them with at least 1 inch of water, cover the container, and soak them overnight. If using canned beans, add them to a saucepan with ½ cup of water and skip to step 3.
- Cook Beans. Rinse your beans and cook with enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about one hour, or until the beans are tender. Drain the beans, leaving at least half of the cooking liquid, and return to the saucepan.
- Mash Beans. Add in your salt, pepper, and cumin. Let simmer for 10 minutes before using a potato masher or fork to mash the beans. I like to leave them a little chunky.
- Create Topping. Deseed and dice tomato, red onion and peppers.
- Season & Serve. Season your beans to taste before spooning them into bowls. Top with the vegetables, sprinkle spices, and add a generous drizzle of tahini and extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Is Foul Mudammas Healthy?
You can probably already guess that these Egyptian fava beans (or use broad beans if you can’t find them) make one very healthy dish. Between the beans, fresh vegetables, tahini, olive oil, and there is plenty of fiber, protein, and vitamins in this dish. It’s also very filling and satisfying!
What Does Foul Mudammas Taste Like?
These mashed beans make for a dish that is creamy, nutty, buttery and just a little spicy from cumin and cayenne. The beans are served while still warm, so there are plenty of mouthwatering aromatics from the spices, tahini and olive oil. This foul mudammas recipe goes great with freshly chopped peppers, and is usually served alongside vegetables or pita.
What Are Fava Beans?
These are also known as broad beans. They are creamy in texture and have a slightly nutty flavor. They’re similar to lima beans but less starchy. Likewise, they are very similar to chickpeas when cooked this way, but they have a bit less of a distinct bean flavor.
Ful Medames Recipe (Egyptian Fava Beans)
- If using canned fava beans (See Note 1), place in a saucepan over medium-high heat along with ½ cup water. Season with kosher salt, cumin and black pepper Cook for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the fava beans, leaving it somewhat chunky. Use an immersion blender if you prefer it creamier. Season to taste.
- If using dried fava beans (See Note 1), rinse and cover with water by 1 inch. Soak overnight, covered. Rinse and cook with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour or until tender.
- Remove 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Drain beans and transfer back into pan with the reserved cooking liquid. Season with kosher salt, cumin and black pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the fava beans, leaving it somewhat chunky. Use an immersion blender if you prefer it creamier. Season to taste.
- Remove seeds and dice the bell pepper and red onion. Slice the tomato flesh into strips, then cross wise into small dice. Set aside in bowls.
- Spoon the warm fava beans in a bowl and top with the diced pepper, onion, tomatoes and a sprinkle of ground cumin and cayenne to taste. Top as desired with a generous drizzle of tahini and extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve with warm pita bread, optional but preferred.
- Some say to remove the skins on the cooked beans for a smoother texture, it’s optional. I find if I want it creamier to use an immersion blender and it’s fine.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.