An Egyptian Breakfast: Ful Medames


I loved Ful Medames when we lived in the Middle East but it is my first attempt at making it. They used to serve it for breakfast in the local cafes, very cheaply with lots of warm flatbread to accompany it. There are of course endless versions, but here is mine with a delicious combination of flavors and textures.

You will need:

200g Dried Fava Beans (the ones I used were labelled ful medames)
2 garlic cloves, crushed until they are a paste
1 onion, half very finely chopped and the other half thin slices
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 hard cooked egg, chopped up finely
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek, soaked for half an hour
1 bay leaf
1/4 cumin seeds crushed
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Juice of half a lemon or lime
Grated rind of 1/4 lemon or lime
5 spoons good olive oil
A fist of finely chopped flat leaf parsley with a few left aside to decorate


Soak the beans overnight. Drain the water, rinse a few times, then place in a pot and fill with water. Add the bay leaf.

Cook for about an hour until they soften. Taste to check texture. Remove from heat. Rinse.

Fry the onions in one tablespoon oil. Add the garlic. Keep some of the cooked slices aside for decorating the top.

Roughly mash a quarter of the quantity of the beans and then mix them together.

Add the onions and garlic, paprika, cumin, fenugreek, lemon juice , stir gently.

Add the olive oil and mix in. Season with sat and pepper.
Top with cooked onion slices, chopped parsley, chopped hard boiled egg and grated lemon zest. Add more olive oil if desired.

Serve hot or cold, as a starter, side, main or the Egyptian way for breakfast !

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