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Ful Medames (Stewed Fava Beans) Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey to the Middle East with our Ful Medames, a classic and hearty dish of stewed fava beans. This flavorful and nutritious recipe is a staple in many Middle Eastern and North African countries and is often enjoyed as a breakfast or hearty snack.

In this article, we’ll guide you through crafting this wholesome and satisfying dish that’s packed with protein and rich in flavor. Let’s get started!


For the Ful

  • 2 cups of dried fava beans
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Toppings

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh cucumbers
  • Sliced radishes
  • Pickled turnips (optional)
  • Hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
  • Fresh pita bread or flatbread, for serving

Steps to Make

Step 1

Rinse the dried fava beans thoroughly and remove any debris. Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Allow them to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Step 2

Drain the soaked fava beans and return them to the large pot. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-1.5 hours or until the fava beans are tender but not mushy. You may need to add more water during cooking.

Step 3

In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Pour the seasoned olive oil mixture over the cooked fava beans. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Step 4

Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash the fava beans to your desired consistency. Some prefer them partially mashed, while others like them smoother.

Step 5

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Step 6

Ful Medames is traditionally served with various toppings. Arrange chopped fresh parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced radishes, and any optional toppings like pickled turnips or hard-boiled eggs on top of the fava beans.

Step 7

Ful Medames is commonly enjoyed with fresh pita bread or flatbread. Serve warm and enjoy your Middle Eastern delight!


In conclusion, our Ful Medames recipe brings the flavors of the Middle East to your table with a hearty and nutritious dish of stewed fava beans. Topped with fresh ingredients and served with warm bread, it’s a delightful and satisfying culinary experience.


Can I use canned fava beans instead of dried ones?

While dried fava beans are traditional for this dish, you can use canned fava beans for a quicker preparation. Simply rinse and drain them before use.

What can I substitute for fava beans if they’re not available?

You can use canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as a substitute for fava beans in this recipe.

Are there other toppings I can add to customize my Ful Medames?

You can get creative with toppings by adding diced onions, green bell peppers, or a drizzle of tahini sauce for additional flavor.

Can I make this dish ahead of time and store it for later use?

Yes, you can prepare Ful Medames ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Can I make Ful Medames with a spicier kick?

If you like it spicy, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes while sautéing the garlic and spices.