Friday, May 3, 2013

Beautiful Food: Fava With Garlic and Lemon

Fava beans have been eaten since ancient times, and are still cultivated and enjoyed around the world, especially in North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and parts of Asia, and South America. Similar to peas, these legumes grow in pods and may be used in all sorts of recipes - pasta, soup, salad, or simply steamed and seasoned. 

The recipe I am sharing with you today  is called ful mudammas (or ful medames, or even foul mudammas, unfortunately!); at my house we simply say ful (pronounced like "fool"). It is considered by some to be the national dish of Egypt. In any case, it is very popular, and very common; my Egyptian father-in-law says that it was the usual breakfast when he was growing up. Sometimes I make it as a weekend breakfast, but more often as a quick last minute dinner. 

Though many make this recipe using dried beans (my father-in-law usually does) I use canned. It's healthier the other way, I know, but not as fast. And often, a can or two of ful in the cupboard is the only thing that stands between us and takeout on a busy night. Gluten free, vegan, healthy, fast, cheap and beautiful - even canned it beats fast food! 

Here are the ridiculously easy instructions. If you don't like to read, you can probably just skip ahead to the pictures and still figure it out. Yeah, that easy.

Open can. Empty contents into pan. Do not rinse

Add minced garlic to taste (I usually use three cloves per can).

Turn heat to medium.

Using a potato masher, crush some of the beans.

When heated through, remove from stove.

 Add 1 chopped tomato. Stir.

Add lemon juice and salt to taste.

Garnish with green onion and drizzle of olive oil.

Serve with pita bread.

Some notes: This (see below) is the brand our local stores carry, but there are others out. Just check the international section of the grocery store, or a local Middle Eastern market. Also, in addition to the tomatoes, we often add chopped cucumber and/or chopped parsley. We just go with whatever we have in the house. Also, if you are local, you must try it with the thick pita bread from here. When freshly made, this is the best bread I have ever tasted.


  1. I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Awesome! Have a great weekend, Sarah!

  2. I am so glad you posted this, because I still have the can you gave me and was just thinking about how i needed to have you tell me the preparation details again.! I'll be making this soon.


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