Ful medames or stewed fava beans is the number one traditional breakfast street food in Egypt. Every single Egyptian has experienced the ful medamis in many forms and shapes. The ful is usually stewed overnight until it becomes really soft. It could be served with different types of oils including corn oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil (for the professional ful eaters) and sometimes clarified butter.
The ful could be eaten plain with some salt, pepper, lime juice and cumin or with some vegetables toppings to include tomatoes, bell pepper, diced onions or with tahini or with shakshooka eggs. So many variations! It is usually served with falafel, pickled eggplants, feta cheese with tomatoes, eggs and torshi (pickled cucumbers, carrots, onions…etc.)
Best ful will always be eaten off a wooden cart where people gather around it to enjoy that ful breakfast meal. I was lucky and I got to experience the ful off one of the best wooden carts in the Egypt, it was called “Wimpy” as in the old burger fast food place. It used to wander around Imbaba streets in Egypt. The ful was served off a very old metal jug that is called the ful Qidra. The way that awesome guy used to get the ful off the qidra in one move with his ladle showed many years of experience, so fast and nothing ever spilt. Then he used to add something from a bottle, I think and I am not sure till today that it was some sort of oil and some other mysterious stuff. Then he wrapped the sandwich in yesterday’s or today’s newspaper sheet so you can enjoy reading while eating 🙂 I did not stand at the cart to eat my sandwich so I never had the full experience but I used to eat it while walking to my grandmother home. Nothing compares to that sandwich ever!!
So, I make the ful medames from scratch using a slow cooker however I understand it is a lot of work. I will add the recipe from scratch though in a separate post. This one is a shortcut about how to transform a canned fava beans into a good ful sandwich.
1 can ful medames
2 tablespoons of water
1 diced tomato
1 diced green onion
1 minced garlic
1/2 diced bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon corn oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 lime juice
salt and pepper
In a small pot, add the fava beans from the can on low heat and add the 2 tablespoons of water.
In a small pan, add the olive oil, the onions, garlic. Stir until pale yellowish color.
Add the tomatoes and the bell peppers. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and cumin.
Stir until they become a little bit mushy.
Turn off the heat and pour that mix on the beans and stir.
Ad the cumin, salt and pepper to taste on the beans.
Bring the beans to boil a little bit then turn the heat off.
On a plate, add the beans. Add the corn oil, lime juice, the tahini and stir.
For garnish, add some tomatoes and chives on the top.