Ful Medames with Preserved Lemon

Serves 6 to 8

Egyptian fava beans  (or ful medames or broad beans or foul, as they are sometimes called) are adorable little brown beans with a unique strong and earthy flavor, that are typically served as breakfast fare; that may sound usual to some, but Latin American and Indian cuisine are just a few cuisines that know the power of a hearty, protein and fiber rich breakfast thanks to legumes.

It’s economical, filling, and of course makes a good lunch or dinner too. Ful Medames can be very simple fare (literally just beans, maybe a drizzle of oil or topped with tomato or onion), and I love the contrast of simply spiced warm beans topped with cool, garlicky toppings and perhaps a few diced tomatoes or cucumbers on top. Preserved lemon is a wonderful contrast to the earthy beans, as is a drizzle of Green Tahini Sauce (page XX). For a richer meal for lunch or dinner serve with any flat bread (homemade naan is excellent, or any fresh pita) or couscous and diced red ripe tomatoes.


Ful Medames

1 pound small dry brown fava beans (Egyptian ful medames beans)

6 cups water

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced


Preserved Lemon & Parsley Salad

1 tablespoon finely minced preserved lemon

2 cups flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

3 ripe tomatoes, core and seeds removed and finely diced

4 scallions, root ends trimmed and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil



Lemon wedges for squeezing

Green Tahini Sauce or additional olive oil for drizzling


1. Sort through the beans by pouring a cup of beans at a time onto a large dinner plate; inspect and remove any debris that isn’t a bean. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Set aside to soak for 8 hours or overnight; beans with double in size. Or fast track the cooking of the beans, see How to Cook page XX.

2. When beans are done soaking, drain and rinse. Transfer beans to a 4 quart pot, add water and remaining ful medames ingredients and bring to a rolling boil over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are very tender. If the liquid level of the beans appears too low during cooking, pour in 1 cup of hot water and continue to simmer. Occasionally stir the beans with a wooden spoon.

3. Scoop out 1 cups of beans and mash into a puree by either pouring beans into a mixing bowl and crush into a chunky paste with with a potato masher, or puree with an immersion blender using the chopper attachment. Return the puree to the pot and simmer another 5 minutes. The ful is ready to serve as is, but will the flavor will deepen greatly the next day, or even setting aside to cool for 30 minutes.

4. When ready to serve, make the topping by combining the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl, tossing to thoroughly coat with the oil and lemon. Scoop a cup of beans into a serving bowl and scatter with about 1/4 cup of parsley topping. If desired squeeze a lemon wedge on the beans and drizzle with Green Tahini Sauce. If serving with pita, use wedges of pita to scoop up beans.