My Armenian family all grew up in Egypt. They came to the United States a few years before I was born, so we ate quite “globally.” There was certainly a lot of Egyptian influence in our home. One of my Dad’s favorite breakfast dishes was foul (pronounced fool). I like it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Foul Medames are Egyptian fava beans (apparently, broad beans here in the United States, but I think we all refer to them as fava beans). You can find them in any Middle Eastern grocery store, dried or canned. I like to use the canned. They are just more convenient. If you don’t have access to a Middle Eastern grocer, I’ve seen canned fava beans in my local grocery store. You’ll have to experiment with different brands. Some of the grocery store brands have a tougher outer skin that is not as appealing.
In making foul, the beans are simmered a bit, mashed just a little, and traditionally served with a hard boiled egg on top. I like just a sunny side up egg on mine. Fried on a high heat with olive oil, it gets a crispy edge that I really like. A warmed wedge of pita is also usually served with foul to scoop up the yumminess!
|Foul before being topped with the egg.|
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, sauté the onion for about 2 to 3 minutes then add the garlic. Continue sautéing for just a minute. Add the cumin, stir around to get it’s oils going, then add the fava beans and water. Bring the beans and water to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes on medium heat.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Using a fork, mash some of the beans, but try to leave some whole. It makes it prettier when you can see them.
Spoon a portion in a bowl and drizzle the top with the olive oil, salt and pepper. This makes two servings, so just use about a half tablespoon for each bowl. Top the foul off with the egg and sprinkle it with the crushed red pepper flakes. Serve with a warmed pita and an empty belly!
|The Fava Bean – Isn’t it cute? When I was little I thought that black line looked like a smile! :)|
- You can add chopped tomatoes to this dish. I just prefer it without, but if you’d like, throw them in after adding the cumin and sauté for just two minutes.
- My favorite brand of foul, although so many of them are really good, is California Garden. I find it at a Middle Eastern market nearby.
- I think this makes a great appetizer too. You’d want to double the recipe, omit the egg on top and serve the foul in a pretty bowl with pita chips on the side.