Muslim Matrimonials and More's Middle Eastern and Muslim Recipes


Egyptian Ful Mudammas (Fava Bean Stew)

By Clifford A. Wright, Cook and Author

The rich man's breakfast, the shopkeeper's lunch, the poor man's supper. This Arabic saying captures the versatility of ful mudammas. Ful (pronounced "FOOL"), which means "fava bean," is often eaten for breakfast. Ful mudammas, a kind of dried fava bean stew, is considered the Egyptian national dish. Read more about ful here.


  • 3 pounds small dried fava beans (about 6 cups), picked over and soaked in water to cover 24 hours
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 quarts cold water
  • Salt to taste


1. Drain the fava beans. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the fava beans, and boil them until they are soft enough to have their peels removed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, then remove the peel by gently squeezing each bean so the skin pops off or by using a paring knife.

2. Place the peeled fava beans in a stewpot with the onion, tomatoes, and lentils and cover with the water. Bring to a gentle boil, skim the top of foam and reduce the heat to very low or place on a heat diffuser. Cover and cook for 12 hours. Don't lift the cover at all during the entire cooking time, otherwise the beans will discolor.

3. The cooked fava beans can be eaten whole, slightly mashed, or completely mashed. Season with salt. Serve with extra virgin olive oil, corn oil, melted butter, samna (clarified butter), tomato sauce (see below), garlic sauce (see below), basturma (sun-dried spice-rubbed beef fillet available in Middle Eastern markets), fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, freshly squeezed lime juice, or béchamel sauce.

Note 1: You need not halve this large yielding recipe because ful keeps well in the refrigerator up to a week and is excellent reheated.

Note 2: Garlic sauce (or taqliyya) is made by pounding some garlic with a little salt in a mortar and then adding some coriander seed or chopped coriander leaves and turning this into the ful or spooning it on top of a serving.

Note 3: Egyptian-style tomato sauce, dim'a musabika, is made by cooking a chopped medium onion in 1/4 cup olive oil with six crushed garlic cloves and then stirring in a six-ounce can of tomato paste mixed with four cups of water, two teaspoons white wine vinegar, two teaspoons salt, one teaspoon black pepper and 1û2 teaspoon caynne pepper and cooking on low for 20 minutes.

Makes 10 servings

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