Ful Medames (Egyptian Fava Beans)

This site pretty well documents my love of beans. I’d probably be happy eating them at every meal. Yet you don’t frequently see breakfast recipes that use beans. (Although I suppose I snuck some in to my migas and southwestern omelette).

When I heard about ful medames, I knew that sooner or later they would work their way into my rotation. Ful medames are an Egyptian breakfast dish (or possibly lunch) made of fava beans. Basically the fava beans are cooked, then mashed and served with a variety of accompaniments so everyone gets to season to their liking.

My biggest obstacle was finding the right kind of beans. Ful medames are made with small fava beans, instead of the large ones we more commonly see in the States. Eventually I was able to find some canned at the local import grocery store.

  • 2 15-ounce cans small fava beans (3 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • juice of one lemon (~3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, well-packed
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

  1. Rinse and drain the fava beans. Place in a small to medium sized pot. Add the water, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Add in the garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. Mash about half the beans, and make sure everything is well mixed. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with any of the accompaniments listed below.

  • pita bread
  • hard boiled eggs
  • chopped fresh tomatoes
  • lemon wedges
  • fresh parsley
  • tahini
  • chili pepper flakes
  • raw onion
  • pickled vegetables

(Serves 4)

I couldn’t find any gluten-free pita, so we ate ours with spoons. I don’t think we were missing anything. But I suppose toast could be used.

Seeing as I’ve been raving about my love of beans, it seems fitting that I share this recipe in My Legume Love Affair being hosted by the lovely Simona of Briciole. I’m also sharing in Premeditated Leftovers, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, These Chicks Cooked, Full Plate Thursday, and Wellness Weekends.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

I recommend The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen, by Donna Klein.

What you'll find:
  • More than 200 tasty recipes,
  • Numerous tips for succesful gluten-free cooking and baking, and
  • Nutritional information (calories, grams of protein, fat, carbs, etc.) for every recipe.


  1. I am also a bean lover. These look really good! I have never heard of them either … I will keep my eyes out for them!

  2. My husbands getting into eating eggs for breakfast, so this recipe comes at a perfect time. So simple. Love it Kalinda and beautiful photos.

  3. These look so yummy. I’m a fan of beans and currently crushing on the large fava beans. This reminds me of the tasty food I enjoyed in Israel… Love tahini on everything! I’ll keep my eyes open for the small fava beans so I can make this.


  4. This is just the way my Middle Eastern husband’s family makes this. It looks great! However, now in the US, they eat it for dinner.

  5. @Jane and Sea: While I only seemed to be able to find the small favas canned, lots of other recipes I saw only seemed to find them dried. You might need to go that route.

    @France: I’m kind of love. It’s so easy and so tasty and filling.

    @Judee: Awesome, I’ll take that as a compliment. I’d be happy eating this for every meal.

  6. When I went to Greece a couple of years ago, I fell in love with their fava which they served as a started in most places – it was so delicious drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cracked black pepper. This sort of reminds me of that :)

  7. I’ve actually made this before and we love it. I don’t mash it up though, I just serve it as a side. But I love the idea of mashing it, I will try that next time.

  8. Looks delicious with the parsley and lemon, thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop!

  9. This is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. Mine looks a little more “‘chunky,” but I also mash about half the beans. I ate mine over a chickpea flour pancake–divine! (and no toast required). ;) Thanks for submitting to Wellness Weekend!

  10. I didn’t know ful was made with small faba beans… I think I have some dried ones but I will have to check. :) Love my beans, too! :)

  11. Delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. I just had a blond moment. I was stumbling your post and added the category vegetarian, then I panicked and checked your recipe again just to make sure it was vegetarian. Duh, what is the name of your blog again? :) I think this recipe looks delicious what ever category it is in! Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  13. Wow, I did not know this was such a popular dish.

    @Alea: That’s pretty funny. We all have our moments I suppose.

  14. I have never seen canned fava beans and did not know that Ful Medames requires small fava beans. That is a very nice breakfast spread. Thank you so much for your contribution to MLLA.

  15. Great, simple recipe! I remember this from traveling over there. At home I love to make something like this with chopped tomatoes and tahini. Oh and the fresh parsley! Almost just like in your recipe + the add ins.

  16. My favorite dish of all. I eat Ful for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
    Discovered it when living in Cairo and can now get it in most Middle Eastern & Turkish shops in London.

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