This Middle Eastern dish is the traditional Egyptian breakfast and one of their national dishes. Foul Medemes is a lot like the refried beans recipe many North American know and love. This Egyptian homemade beans recipe is easy to make in just 20 minutes. It’s naturally gluten-free, vegan. And most importantly, it tastes sooo much better than the Pre-made canned stuff!
I love it because it’s easy to whip up in just 20 minutes or so. It’s also made with an easy ingredient list that I feel great about, which also happens to be naturally vegan and gluten-free. this is a recipe that’s easy to customize and you can make it spicy, smoky, lemony, or however, you might prefer.
But best of all, I love this recipe because it’s downright easy and delicious.
When travelling to Egypt this dish is everywhere from the restaurants to the street vendor and in the homes, everyone is making and eat foul.
Traditional the beans are simmer overnight and served the next day but the more common version is to use a can of high-quality fava beans, just please don’t choose the flavoured variety. You just want plain old fava beans on the label.
I’ve been making Foul Medemes ever since I met my husband years ago and realized that the flavoured pre-made canned stuff was no longer an option. (It’s gross and unnecessary! ) I still use canned beans for a speedy preparation but I add my spices and flavours to the dish. It tastes so much better!
And if you’ve got a case of the late-night hungry guest or in need of a quick hearty meal, just grab a can of Fava beans and a few other pantry items and you’ll create this satisfying meal in 20 minutes.
Let’s make some Foul Medemes!
Foul Medemes Ingredients:
To make this easy bean recipe, you will need:
- Fava Beans: Canned fava bean are great to use in this recipe, but still to the plain 100% only fava beans. You also use dried small fava beans. For the dried beans soak overnight and cook 20 minutes in a pressure cooker. To cook on stove-top you will need to simmer for up to 60 minutes or more depending on how old the beans are. I strongly suggest a pressure cooker.
- Onion & Garlic: There aren’t too many Middle eastern recipes that do call for these ingredients. They’re essential for this recipe. Chop the onions and crush the garlic. Don’t about cutting perfect when preparing this dish, it’s very forgiving. I prefer to add the garlic at the end of the cooking time because I love that extra garlic punch to this dish but you can also add the garlic with the onions for a more mellow flavour.
- Olive oil: Use the best olive oil you can afford, this is super important for all Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking you want the antioxidants and phenolic compounds that are proven to help reduce and prevent diseases in your olive oil.
- Spices: Cumin, ground coriander and salt are all you need.
- Garnish: You can top the foul with tomatoes, parsley, and green onions. Many recipe variations from the Levantine cooks use a lot of lemon at the end of the cooking and then top it with lots of parsley.
How to make Foul Medemes
- Sauté the onion and garlic. Sauté in olive oil in a medium frying pan until softened.
- Add the next round of ingredients. Stir in the beans and spices.
- Add water. Then cook until the mixture reaches a simmer. cover and cook until softened.
- Mash the beans. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the beans to your desired consistency, not everyone like a pureed Foul Medemes some prefer a more bean soup like meal vs a dip. I just like more like a dip.
- Add in the remaining ingredients. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, and more garlic if you wish. Taste the beans, and season with as much spice, salt and pepper as needed. (Don’t be afraid to be generous with the spices!)
- Serve warm with bread. Top with fresh tomatoes, parsley and green onions.
The mashed fava beans are meant to be a base recipe that you can customize! So free to play around with the ingredients and find what works best for you. For example…
- Add in some chiles: If you would like some heat in your beans, just core and finely-dice a hot pepper and add it with the onion to add to your refried beans. Or for a milder flavour, you could stir in a few tablespoons of pickled green chiles. Or the easiest option for heat — just add in some cayenne pepper to taste.
- Add some falafels: Yes, I really did just recommend falafels on your foul…it’s tasty and I love the crunch element it adds.
- Add in some cheese: I just like to garnish my foul medemes with some crumbled feta or goat cheese on top. Any kind of crumbly cheese works good here.
- Add some eggs: hard-boiled or fried eggs are a great addition to this meal it’s actually my favourite topping.
If Starting with dry (uncooked) fava beans: As mentioned above, I typically take the shortcut here of using canned fava beans. But if you prefer to cook your beans from scratch, you can either cook them in the:
- Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker): Add 1 cup of dried fava beans to the bowl of a slow cooker. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, add the lid, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours until the fava beans are tender.
- Instant pot (Pressure cooker): Add 1 cup of dried fava beans to the bowl of the pressure cooker. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, add and seal lid. Set the pressure cooker to 20 minutes on high. Allow for slow release. beans should be tender.
- Stovetop: Add 1 cup dried fava beans to a large stockpot. Cover beans with 2 inches of water. Cook on high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Skim the foam from the surface with a spoon. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender
This Egyptian homemade beans recipe is easy to make in just 20 minutes. It’s naturally gluten-free, vegan. And most importantly, it tastes sooo much better than the Pre-made canned stuff!
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 can of fava beans
- 1 garlic, grated
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked and fragrant.
- Add in the fava beans, cumin, and coriander stir to combine. Add water Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and the bean soften.
- Remove pan from heat. Use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash the beans to your desired consistency.
- Taste and season the beans with lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve warm, topped with tomatoes, parsely, and green onion.