Egyptian Ful MedamesFeatured

Egyptian Ful Medames

The national dish of Egypt though also served across North Africa and the Middle East, ful medames is a delicious spicy stew traditionally eaten for breakfast (and to break fast).

This is the recipe we took to the Aldeburgh Food Festival where it proved very popular!



For 4 Person(s)


  • 1 kg whole dried fava beans
  • 45 g fresh coriander
  • 20 g fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp (heaped) cumin
  • 3 tsp (heaped) sugar (or more to taste)
  • Large jar (500-700 ml) tomato passata
  • 2 tsp (heaped) tomato paste
  • juice of 2 or 3 large lemons
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small (but hot) chilli
  • 100 ml sunflower oil (plus oil for frying)
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • pepper to taste


Soak the beans overnight. Drain, place in a pan, cover with plenty of water and cook until tender – about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker, 60 minutes if boiling.

Chop the onion and garlic until very fine (or purée in a food processor), fry gently in a little oil. Meanwhile chop and mix (or blend) the herbs, oil, lemon juice, chilli and spices.

Add the spice and herb mix to the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the passata and tomato paste plus 100 ml of water (use it to wash the remains of the passata out of the jar or packet it came in).

Cook for a few more minutes and then add the beans, continue to simmer and taste – add sugar, salt and pepper to adjust seasoning. The beans are ready as soon as the seasoning is balanced, though you can leave them to reduce for a thicker sauce.

Eat straight away and/or cool and freeze in portions. Delicious eaten with pita bread, tomato salad and a fried egg!

Recipe notes

Makes: 8 to 12