Ful Medames: Spicy Fava Stew


The naitonal dish of Egypt, ful medames is delicious spicy stew which is traditionally eaten for breakfast!


  • 500g whole dried fava beans
  • 25g fresh corriander
  • 10g fresh parsely
  • 0.5 teaspoon cayene pepper
  • 0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 300 ml tomato passata
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 50 ml sunflower
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  1. If using dried beans, soak them overnight. Drain, place in a pan, cover with plenty of water and cook until tender – about 35 - 40 minutes in a pressure cooker, an hour or more if boiling.
  2. If using canned beans, simply open the cans, drain and rinse the beans.
  3. Chop the onion and garlic until very fine (or puree in a food processor), fry gently in a little oil. Meanwhile chop and mix (or blend) the herbs, oil, lemon juice, chilli and spices.
  4. Add the spice and herb mix to the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the passata and tomato paste plus 100 ml of water (use it to wash the remains of the passata out of the jar or packet it came in).
  5. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the beans, continue to simmer and taste – add sugar, salt and pepper to adjust seasoning. The beans are ready as soon as the seasoning is balanced, though you can leave them to reduce for a thicker sauce.
  6. Eat straight away and/or cool and freeze in portions. Delicious eaten with pitta bread, tomato salad and a fried egg!


Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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