Ful for you


Ful Madames

Ful Madames, an Egyptian dish starring fava beans.

Nothing solves a rut in the kitchen like bringing a new ingredient into the mix. The end of a long and terrible winter finally yielding to sunshine and the ability to leave the house without wishing death upon yourself also helps. When I find myself repeating tried-and-true dishes instead of taking on something new, I like to buy something I don’t know much about and run with it.

That’s how I became reacquainted with fava beans. I’ve used fava beans before, but they’ve been MIA from the grocery store for quite a while. So I was pleased to find some at a local market recently. Shortly after I just happened to read about an Egyptian dish called ful madames served at Safari Restaurant and Banquet Center in Minneapolis and I decided to give it a go myself.

I’ve found several recipes, spellings and some controversy over the history of the dish. But it’s easy to make and delicious. What more can there be to know?

Here’s how I did it, based on this recipe.

Ful Madames
or Foul Mudammas or Ful Medammis or Ful — I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.

1 15 oz. can of fava beans
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 onion, diced
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 serranno chili, chopped
pita bread

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Toss in garlic, chili onion and cumin. Sauté for two minutes. Ponder how you pronounce “ful madames.”

Add the fava beans, lemon juice and two more tablespoons of olive oil.

Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Aboutt half the beans should be mashed beyond recognition, so be rough about it. Really. Go on. Mash.

When Ful Madames has been mashed to her liking, add a touch more olive oil and the parsley.

Eat it. With pita bread.


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5 thoughts on “Ful for you

  1. I’m a chili weenie (just can’t hack it other than mild powders) so is there something you can recommend flavorful enough but not hot as a substitute?

    • I know just what you mean. This dish doesn’t have or need a lot of heat, so I think throwing in some chili powder will work well. The pepper is nice for texture, but the heat wasn’t very noticeable, even with the seeds.

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