Ful medames also Foul Mudammas is one of the national dishes of Sudan and Egypt, often eaten at breakfast. It consists of brown fava beans, partially or completely mashed, which are slow-cooked and served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Ful medames is typically eaten with Egyptian bread ('eish masri).
The dish's name derives from the Egyptian language: ful is the Egyptian word for fava beans, and medames is a Coptic word meaning "buried." The second word hints at the original cooking method, which involved burying a sealed pot of water and beans under hot coals. This cooking method for beans is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud, indicating that it has been used in the Middle East at least since the 4th century.
Ful medames was exported from Egypt to the Arab World, particularly the Levant and Somalia. Ful medames came to the Horn of Africa when the Egyptians captured Zeila in the beginning of the 19th century. From there, it spread to other regions. In northern Somalia, ful is eaten with a pancake-like bread called laxoox. Ful is also part of Ethiopian cuisine, where it is served with flatbread and mitmita powder or berebere spice mix.
- 450 g (1 lb) ful beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and coarsely chopped
- 1 handful coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2 lemons, cut into quarters
- 1 Spanish onion, peeled and sliced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 120° C (250° F - gas ½), [fan oven 100° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Place the presoaked beans in a casserole dish, fill with water and cover the beans by 2 inches
- Add half of the cumin, Crushed garlic and lots of black pepper, cover and cook for 4 hours until the beans are soft. Don't break the beans up.
- Place the eggs, herbs, onion slices and lemon quarters on separate plates
- When the beans are cooked, stir in the remaining cumin and add salt to taste
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