Ful Medames

Last summer I was in an Arabic restaurant and tasted ful (pronounced ‘fool’) for the first time and made a note to myself to try to replicate this at home.  I had almost forgotten about it until I was discussing hummus with my nephew, John, because it’s one of his favourite foods and this involves mashed beans as well.  I had a feeling he would love these ingredients with the spicy kick.

Many of you may not have heard of this dish – I certainly hadn’t.  This is an Egyptian/Sudanese recipe of cooked and mashed fava beans served with a variety of sides such as onion, tomatoes, lemons, parsley, garlic, cucumbers and yogurt.  This dish is also spelled ‘foul’ but I didn’t want readers new to this recipe pronouncing it the way it’s spelled!

Ful Medames - simply fresh dinners

This is very flavourful and such a welcome treat to the taste buds.  I love experiencing foods from around the world and this was no exception.  I had never tasted fava beans until last summer and loved the combination of cumin, smoked paprika, olive oil, tomatoes and parsley.  You can buy fresh beans or canned (I went for canned to keep the recipe under 30 minutes).  Ful can be served in lettuce cups, with rice, or naan.  If you serve it with something different, I’d love to hear about it!  I diced some onion and red pepper as condiments and they blended perfectly.

Fava beans are loaded with nutrition.  They have no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamin, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.  They are also an inexpensive source of lean protein.  A serving of fresh or cooked fava beans can significantly increase your intake of folate, iron, manganese and dietary fiber.   There are only 299 calories in one cup of fava beans.  All great reasons to step out of your comfort zone and try this dish!

Ful Medames - simply fresh dinners

People who eat this regularly might object to my adding vegetable stock but I wanted to avoid the high salt levels in the liquid from the canned beans. If you prefer a more tomato-ey flavour, you can add some tomato sauce instead.

Ful medames would be a good addition to a party at any time of the year. Your friends will be impressed with your knowledge of diverse recipes and you won’t have to tell them it only required a half hour to prepare! Cheers.


Ful Medames
Author: Robyn @ simplyfreshdinners.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 14 ounce can of fava beans (organic, if possible)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • OPTIONS (for sides)
  • mint, red pepper, onion, lemons, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cucumber, pitas, naan.
  1. Drain and rinse fava beans
  2. Mash 1/2 of the beans with a fork. (mashing will give the dish a thicker consistency)
  3. Heat olive oil in medium sized skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add beans, cumin, paprika, lemon and salt, mixing well and cook for 5 minutes on medium. During this time you might want to add the vegetable broth or more olive oil if it is too dry. Add your choice of liquid slowly until reaching the desired consistency.
  5. Serve with chopped tomatoes and parsley, drizzling olive oil on top. See options for additional choices for sides.

Ful Medames | Simply Fresh Dinners


  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    May 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Smoked paprika….now there’s a spice I have not used in YEARS! And beans? We love them and use them in almost everything. Talk about a great addition to food for nutrition and taste! I think I could eat a whole bowl of this with the right chunk of bread! Love this, Robyn! Anita

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

      I’ve started using it more in chilis, Anita, and I love the flavour it produces. This was so yummy, I hope you try it. I think you and I have very similar tastes. Have a great day, sweet lady xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Robyn, love fava beans, what a interesting recipe. Will be making this for sure.
    cheri recently posted…Dulce de LecheMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    This looks delicious, and though something different, I use most of the ingredients/spices frequently! To contrast with the person who commented about not using smoked paprika in a while…I go through a canister of smoked paprika about once a month. SERIOUSLY. I’m on such a kick with it right now. Might as well keep it up! Love your website, I’m new here!
    Traci recently posted…A-Tisket, A-Tasket, A May Day Basket!My Profile

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

      LOL, that’s some serious paprika! I love the spice too and should it include it more often. Thanks so much for your visit, Traci. I’m so happy to have been able to feature you on Tuesday’s Tidbits – love your site!
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Robyn, I have never tried fava beans, go figure! I am now curious enough to give this a try. I need to expand my horizons. Love from WW.

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:48 am

      LOL, I hadn’t had them either, Linda, and I’m so glad I had this dish. I’ll definitely be making it often – it’s flavours are so different. Thanks for visiting, Buddy. xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    May 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Oooh this sounds great! I love beans, though I must say I do not believe I have ever had fava beans. This looks easy to make too.
    Love your recipes!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:49 am

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipes, Debbie. I think I’d like to be able to sneak a peek at your recipe box – I’m guessing you have some real gems! Thanks for your kind words.
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    May 2, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I have never heard of this dish but it sounds wonderful. I think it would be a lovely vegan meal or even just a great party favor as a topping for naan bread and toppers. I am all about the 3o minute or less meals as life has been very busy lately. Great photos! Pinned! Take care, BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Tex Mex Ahi and Cheesy Rice TamalesMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:50 am

      I have a feeling you’d really like this, BAM. Flavours are somewhat unusual but absolutely delicious. Thanks for the thumbs up on the photos but I think I’m needing some training from you – I’m kinda stuck! Have a great weekend.
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    What a unique recipe. I love ethnic foods and since this is naturally gluten free, I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Adelina Priddis
    May 2, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I’m so glad you shared this on Foodie Friday. I’ve been hearing a lot about flava beans but I haven’t tried them yet. This is going to be my recipe to give them a go!
    Adelina Priddis recently posted…Foodie Friday Featuring Rustic PeachMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    May 3, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Good morning ROBYN! Thank you for coming to visit my post and for leaving such a thoughtful and emotional response. I truly want to extend that invitation to anyone who reads to consider the world around us, celebrate it and savor it,as one would savor a delicious dish. Thank you so much for being there for me in so many ways, and I send you virtual ((hugs)) right now. Many thanks! Anita

  • Reply
    May 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hi Robyn!

    I have not ever heard of this, but it looks mouthwatering delicious! Love, love beans in any form and this would be no exception! I’ll take a bowl with a side of naan..so I PINNED this yumminess! 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Thanks so much, Cathy, and thank you for the pin! I’ve been having it with naan too but I think I might have to switch to lettuce cups, lol, I’m eating too much of it. Have a great weekend.
      Robyn recently posted…Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & WalnutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

    This looks delicious. I’ve only had it in restaurants, but I’d love to try it at home. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Ginnie recently posted…Hello, Friday! Link RoundupMy Profile

  • Reply
    Antionette Blake
    May 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    oh my….I want this now!!! Thanks for sharing and linking up again with us at the #WWDParty. Have a great week ahead.
    Antionette Blake recently posted…You’ll Never Own A HouseMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    This dish has a lot of my favorite tastes and I will give it a whirl. i love the sides, too.
    SizzleandZoom recently posted…Sherman GardensMy Profile

  • Reply
    Miss Merry
    May 5, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I have never heard of this dish, but it looks delicious! Following you from Masterpiece Monday
    Miss Merry recently posted…Downton Abbey Tea PartyMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 7:05 am

      It is surprising in it’s flavour, Miss Merry, I found it to be so delicious and I made it again two days later! Thanks so much for visiting. It was a pleasure to visit your lovely blog!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I haven’t heard of this one either, but this looks tasty! I’ll definitely try it. 🙂

    Btw, thanks for linking up with Let’s Get Real Party. 🙂
    Nicole recently posted…One Dozen Mother’s Day Gift IdeasMy Profile

  • Reply
    Antionette Blake
    May 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    You have been selected as one of the Featured Bloggers in Week 15 of the #WWDParty – congratulations and I’ll see ya on Friday!
    Antionette Blake recently posted…Palazzo Pants | Popular or Played Out?My Profile

  • Reply
    Linda Warren
    May 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve never had ful before but I am looking forward to trying it. It sounds unusual and delicious. Thanks for sharing on Cast Party Wednesday.
    Linda Warren recently posted…Margaritas for Cinco de MayoMy Profile

  • Reply
    Weekend Wind-Down Party #16 - Snippets of Inspiration
    May 9, 2014 at 9:14 am

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  • Reply
    May 9, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Just wanted you to know that you’re being featured tonight at the Weekend Wind-Down Link Party! Thanks for linking up with us!
    Danielle recently posted…Weekend Wind-Down Party #16My Profile

    • Reply
      May 9, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Thanks so much, Danielle! You just made my Friday!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This looks so yummy! Pinned. Thanks for being part of our party. Please come and show off on Monday at 7 pm. We would love it. http://loulougirls.blogspot.com/
    Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls
    Kimberly recently posted…Sweet Potato CirclesMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Robyn, This looks very delicious. I love, love, love any kind of beans and I always like to find new ways to make them. I’m featuring your recipe this week. Have a blessed Mother’s Day Mary
    Mary recently posted…Welcome To The 174th Masterpiece Monday and A Curbside Makeover!My Profile

  • Reply
    May 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

    These look so good! Going on ‘to make’ list! Thanks for linking up at Tips and Tricks! Pinning
    Sarah recently posted…Sweet Corn & Shrimp Chowder Dairy & Gluten FreeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    May 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Your Ful Medames look fantastic with wonderful flavor. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    May 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    This sounds quite delicious! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy recently posted…Garden TourMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Thanks so much, Kathy!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Ragi Sekaly
    December 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I grew up eating ful medammes as I was born in Egypt and its definitely a staple. You can purchase ful medammes from a food cart, but they do make it differently than your recipe. First of all, there is no vegetable broth or tomato sauce. After the ful medammes is cooked, a hard boiled egg is crushed and mixed with it. The whole thing is then placed inside a pita and eaten like a sandwich. with the addition of tomatoes, cucumber and sometimes hummus.

    • Reply
      December 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Ragi,
      You’re so lucky to have grown up eating this delicious dish! Before I made this, I did a little research and in the end, wrote a recipe that was a combination of many I had read plus my own ideas. It may not be true to the original but I think it captures the essence of the flavors. I have seen an egg with this dish many times and suggested it as an option but I just wasn’t feeling it that day, lol.
      I so appreciate your comment. Next time, I’ll add the egg and consider leaving out the broth 🙂 Thanks for visiting!
      Robyn recently posted…50+ Healthy Holiday Appetizers !My Profile

  • Reply
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