Ful medamis

Ful medamis

Simmered broad beans

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

Ful medamis, Egypt’s national dish, is also enjoyed in other countries of the region. In Egypt the ful — small broad beans — are cooked very slowly in an idra, a special pot that tapers to a narrow neck. The shape ensures that the small amount of water used in the cooking is not lost: as steam condenses on the upper sloping sides, it drops back into the pot. There are casserole dishes with a somewhat similar design, and these may be used successfully for preparing ful. Otherwise use a heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
175g dried small broad beans
or 185g red lentils, (optional)
3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch ground cumin

For serving

Quantity Ingredient
6 hard-boiled eggs, (optional)
flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
lemon wedges
olive oil, for drizzling
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Wash the beans well, then cover with 1 litre cold water. Leave to soak overnight, in a cool place if the weather is warm.
  2. Place the beans and their soaking water in a heavy-based saucepan; add the lentils if using. Cover tightly and simmer very gently for 5–6 hours. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a casserole dish with tapering sides, cover tightly and cook in a 120°C oven for 6 hours.
  3. Check the beans occasionally, and add a little water if they look dry. Do not stir during cooking, as this will cause them to stick to the pot.
  4. Crush the garlic with a little salt and add to the beans. Add the cumin and additional salt to taste. If desired, the beans may be passed through a sieve to purée them; otherwise, serve them as they are.
  5. Serve in soup bowls, adding a quartered hard-boiled egg if desired, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley to each. Each diner squeezes on lemon juice and adds olive oil and pepper to individual taste. The beans and egg are then usually crushed with a fork and the bowl contents combined.
  6. Serve with flat or crusty bread, crisp salads and salata tahina.

Note

  • To serve as an appetiser, purée the beans, add the garlic, salt, pepper and cumin and mix in the lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Serve spread on a dish, with a good sprinkling of parsley; offer flat bread on the side, cut into quarters.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
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Middle Eastern
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