Excellent Egyptian fare: Ful Medames

All the different places I’ve lived in and visited have given me a taste for different kinds of foods. Ful medames (or just ful, pronounced ‘fool’) is a favorite dish in Egypt. It’s sometimes eaten for breakfast, but you can enjoy it whenever you like. If you use dried beans, which makes for the best taste, you’ll need to start the night before you plan to eat it. Otherwise, you can use canned beans.

For about 6 servings, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups dried *fava beans (broad beans)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • to taste: salt, pepper, garlic, ground cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley
  • *If you can’t find fava beans, you can substitute white kidney beans or chickpeas.

    Rinse all the beans and soak them overnight. Drain the soaked beans and rinse again. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with over 4 cups of water. Boil over high heat until froth builds. Skim off the froth as it accumulates, then cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 2 to 4 hours or until the beans are soft and some of the water has evaporated. Then add salt, pepper, garlic, a generous amount of cumin, and lemon juice to taste. Drizzle the mixture with olive oil and sprinkle it with parsley. Serve it up with a side of pita bread and dig in!

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