Egyptian ful medames

Egyptian ful medames

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Serve this like they do for breakfast in Cairo, scooped into warm pita breads with halved hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and cucumber. Make ful medames turbo-charged using plenty of chilli and cumin, lots of lemon and garlic, and be generous with the chopped parsley. I’ve used vegetable oil here rather than olive oil because, for me, the flavour must be all about the beans, cumin, garlic, chilli and lemon.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g whole dried broad beans, soaked in plenty of cold water overnight or throughout the day
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large red or white onion, finely diced
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, to taste
1/2-2 teaspoons chilli flakes, to taste
3-4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground, to taste
1-2 lemons, juiced
A large bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped, including any small stalks

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
pita breads, toasted
hard-boiled eggs
chopped salad
Homemade chilli sauce

Method

  1. Put the soaked and drained beans into a large saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the bean cooking water in the last 5–10 minutes of cooking time. Take the beans off the heat and leave to cool in the liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over a moderate heat, fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and translucent, about 8–10 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and cumin and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked beans to the onion, using some of the bean cooking liquid to loosen the mix if desired. You want it thick, but still a little soupy and fluid.
  4. Continue to warm the beans through in the onion over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove about a third of the beans and blend, returning the blended mix back to the whole bean mix. Stir to combine. (This stage is optional – you can omit the blending of the beans, keeping them all whole if you prefer.)
  6. Stir in the lemon juice to taste, parsley and about 2–4 more tablespoons of oil, tasting the beans for seasoning, adjusting with salt, pepper, lemon and more spice as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, with pita breads, hard-boiled eggs, salad and chilli sauce. Think of the ful medames as a robustly textured and vigorously flavoured mezze or dip.
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