Spicy Fava Bean Stew


Ful Medames is the national dish of Egypt. It is a delicious, spicy stew traditionally eaten for breakfast, often with eggs. This version is inspired by the classic Egyptian dish using British-grown beans.


  • 500g fava beans
  • 25g fresh coriander
  • 10g fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon sugar or add to taste
  • 300ml tomato passata
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small chili
  • 50ml sunflower oil plus oil for frying
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste


1) If using dried beans, soak overnight. Drain, place in a pan, cover with plenty of water and cook until tender: 33-40 minutes in a pressure cooker, an hour or more if boiling. If using canned beans, just drain and rinse

2) Chop the onions and garlic until very fine, fry gently in a little oil. Chop and mix the herbs, oil, lemon juice, chilli and spices

3) Add the spice and herb mix to the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes

4) Add the passata and tomato paste plus 100ml of water

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 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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