Authentic foul (ful) mudammas recipe, made with hearty, creamy fava beans and loaded with flavor from ground cumin, fresh herbs, and a zippy lemon garlic sauce with hot peppers! Don't worry, the sauce is not spicy, but it adds just the right kick. I use a shortcut in this quick fava beans recipe. Serve it with warm pita bread and sliced veggies. Or turn it into a big vegan feast with sides like tahini, hummus, and roasted cauliflower! Read through for all the tips.

Foul Mudammas in cast iron skillet

Foul mudammas, pronounced "fool mudammas,"  is a popular vegan dish throughout the Middle East and the Levant, but it is actually considered Egypt's national dish.

Along with falafel and koshari, foul mudammas--also known as ful medames--is the daily grub of the Egyptian people. A humble but tasty vegan meal made of fava beans and served for late breakfast, lunch or even dinner.

Growing up, my family often had little meals of falafel and foul (short for foul mudammas) dinners. It's about time, this Egyptian girl tells you a bit about a childhood favorite.

What is foul mudammas?

Foul mudammas is basically stewed fava beans (or broad beans), typically seasoned with a little ground cumin and finished with good extra virgin olive oil. Egyptians serve with warm pita bread and jazz it up with lemon juice, fresh veggies and herbs.

There are many ways to dress up this creamy, hearty fava bean porridge or dip. I like my foul mudammas with a spicy kick, so I make a special lemon and garlic sauce with hot chili peppers (although the lemon tames the peppers quite a bit, so it's really not that spicy but adds a great kick!)

Before we get to this foul mudammas or fava bean recipe, let's cover a couple of basics...

Dry fava beans and fava beans from a can
Left: Dry fava beans. Right: Fava beans from a can (cooked fava beans)

What are fava beans? And where to find them? 

Fava beans may not be as familiar to you as black beans or kidney beans, for example. But they are an ancient legume and have been a part of the Middle Eastern kitchen and the Mediterranean diet since the 4th century!

Like many beans and legumes, fava beans are an excellent source of fiber and provide protein and iron.

And as far as texture and flavor, favas are one of the tastiest, meaty bean varieties around--creamy, buttery texture and a lovely, nutty flavor.

Fresh fava beans, also known as broad beans, come in bright bean pods and can be used in many beautiful spring salads and dishes. Sadly, fresh fava beans have a super short season, so you are more likely to find them dry or canned.

To make this foul mudammas recipe, I take a short cut by using canned fava beans. You can find them near other canned beans or the international section at your local grocery store. Otherwise, find canned fava beans via Amazon (affiliate): California Garden Fava Beans and  Cortas Fava Beans.

You can also make foul mudammas from scratch, starting with dry fava beans, that's how my parents used to make it.

Some grocery stores have dry fava beans in the bulk section near things like chickpeas. A couple of options available online: Hunza Fava Beans or Bob's Redmill Fava  Beans, which are a bit larger but can be used in the same way (affiliate links).

Ingredients for foul mudammas. fava beans, tomatoes, peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin

Ingredients for this recipe

There are four simple components to this foul mudammas recipe:

1. Fava beans (canned or dry?)

For this recipe,  you'll need to use canned or already cooked fava beans. I am using canned fava beans here for a short cut (2 cans of fava beans or 3 cups).

But, if you want to make foul from scratch, you can start with 1 cup dry fava beans. You'll need to soak the beans overnight. Drain fully, then cook in plenty of water for about 1 hour or so until tender (see recipe notes.)

2. Seasoning & lemon garlic sauce with chili peppers 

The flavor makers in this recipe are decidedly Mediterranean. We start with a pinch of fragrant ground cumin, which adds great depth and aids with digestion.

But the bold flavors in this simple fava bean stew come from a spicy sauce made with crushed garlic, chili peppers and fresh lemon juice.

Don't worry, this foul mudammas recipe is not necessarily spicy. The lemon juice tames the spicy peppers pretty well, so the sauce actually adds enough of a kick without being overwhelming.

3. Extra virgin olive oil

May seem like a small component of this recipe, but you'll need a generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil. The EVOO will add flavor and provide that velvety finish to the stewed fava beans. I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil

4. Fresh toppings

I love adding a good bunch of fresh parsley and some diced tomatoes on top. Some people like adding chopped onions, but I prefer to serve green onions on the side.

ful medames in skillet, topped with fresh tomatoes and parsley

How to make foul mudammas: Step-by-step

Starting with canned or already cooked fava beans, there are three simple steps to make fava beans: warm up the beans and smash them, add flavor, top with fresh veggies.

1. Heat, mash and season fava beans

Remember, you are starting with canned or already cooked fava beans. Drain fava beans and place in a deep skillet or saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat with about ½ cup of water. Season with a little kosher salt and ground cumin (cumin adds depth here, but it also helps digestion.)  Remove from heat.

Using your potato masher or the back of a fork, mash the beans (you don't have to mash every single bean, but just do your best to mash them some so they're nice and soft)

Fava beans being mashed with a potato masher

2. Add spicy lemon-garlic sauce and extra virgin olive oil 

Using a mortar and pestle, smash garlic and green chili peppers. Add lemon juice and mix.

Tip: the lemon juice tames the chili peppers quite a bit, so this sauce adds a good kick to foul mudammas but it is not overwhelmingly spicy. Just the perfect balance.

garlic, chili pepper and lemons for lemon sauce

Pour the spicy sauce over the fava beans and stir. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil)

Spicy lemon garlic and chili sauce added to fava beans

3. Add fresh toppings

Top the foul mudammas with fresh parsley, diced tomatoes, and a few slices of hot peppers, if you like. Serve with a side of warm pita bread (see more about how to serve it below.)

Ful medammas topped with fresh parsley, tomatoes, and a few slices of hot chili peppers

How to serve it? 

You can call it foul for short! Foul mudammas is best served with warm pita bread. You can add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh green onions and olives to go along.

Foul mudammas is a meal on its own, so you certainly don't need to add much else. But, you can turn it into a big Middle Eastern vegan feast by adding falafel and sides like tahini sauce (which you can easily drizzle on top); hummus; or baba ganoush!

I love making pita sandwiches with foul mudammas and slices of roasted eggplant or cauliflower.

Foul Mudammas served with sides of warm pita bread, sliced vegetables and green onions

Leftovers

You can refrigerate foul mudammas (that's been seasoned and jazzed up with fresh toppings) in a tight-lid glass container for about 2 days (maybe 3 at most). Bring to room temperature and enjoy with pita bread.

If you have cooked fava beans that are plain, those can last in the fridge a couple more days. Be sure the fava beans are fully cooled before storing in the fridge.

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Foul Mudammas in cast iron skillet

Foul Mudammas (Egyptian Fava Beans)


Description

Foul mudammas recipe, made with hearty, creamy fava beans and loaded with flavor from ground cumin, fresh herbs, and a zippy lemon garlic sauce with hot peppers! Don't worry, the sauce is not spicy, but it adds just the right kick.

I use a shortcut in this quick fava beans recipe. Serve it with warm pita bread and sliced veggies. Or turn it into a big vegan feast with falafel and sides like tahini, hummus, and roasted cauliflower!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cans plain fava beans (13 to 15 ounces each can) (see notes if using dry fava beans)
  • ½ cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 hot peppers, chopped (jalapenos will work here)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large lemon juice of
  • Extra virgin olive oil (Early Harvest)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tomato, diced

To Serve:

  • Warm pit bread
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Green onions
  • Olives

Instructions

  1. In a cast iron skillet or saucepan, add the fava beans and ½ cup water. Warm over medium-high heat. Season with kosher salt and cumin. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the fava beans.
  2. In a morter and pestle, add the hot peppers and garlic. Smash. Add in juice of one lemon and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the garlic and hot pepper sauce over the fava beans. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Top with chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, and a few slices of hot peppers, if you like.
  4. Serve with pita bread, sliced veggies and olives.

Notes

  • To make Foul Mudammas from dry fava beans: Start with 1 cup of dry fava beans. Soak in plenty of water over night (beans will expand in size.) Drain and discard soaking water.  If you like, peel the beans and discard the hard skin. Place beans in a large pot or saucepan, and add plenty of water (about 5 cups or so.) Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover part-way and let simmer for about 1 hour. Drain and discard water. Proceed with foul muddamas recipe above.
  • Where to find fava beans? Fava beans are available in many grocery stores near other canned beans or particularly in the international section. You may also find dry fava beans in the bulk section near chickpeas. Otherwise, find canned fava beans via Amazon (affiliate): California Garden Fava Beans and  Cortas Fava Beans. For dry fava beans: Hunza Fava Beans or Bob's Redmill Fava  Beans, which are a bit larger but can be used in the same way (affiliate links).
  • Visit Our Online Shop to browse our all-natural and organic spices, including cumin, and quality extra virgin olive oils including Greek Early Harvest EVOO!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Foul Mudammas, Fava Beans, Egyptian Fava Beans

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Hi Suzy. I’m making foul mudammas today for the first time. The nutrition facts seem odd; only .9 g protein per serving? And no listing of fiber? Would like to have a good website for Middle Eastern recipes. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Coya! Thanks for the heads up. Sometimes the nutritional calculator we use can be a bit glitchy. We'll take another look at this one.

  2. I remembered my college days in Manchester UK, it was the summer of 1978 and my Lebanese friends treated me to this meal, they made it exactly the same, I love this food. A friend from South Sudan adds crumbled Feta cheese on top. Wonderful recipe. 🙏🏿❤

    1. My mother would add about 6 soft-hard boiled eggs, smashed along with the foul, and of course the foul was bought from the vendor on the street. The basket would have the money, dropped down from the 3rd floor, then pulled up full of the delicious beans. Red onion was substituted to scallions, when scallions not available, the rest of the ingredients remain the same as in this recipe. Thanks for the memories.

      1. This looks wonderful!
        I received fresh fava beans in the pods from my CSA this week.
        Can I use them as they are? How can I substitute?
        Thanks for this and all your amazing recipes!

      2. Hi, Jessica! It sounds like you have fresh green fava beans? If so, you can blanch the beans so they soften and then mash them up and follow the recipe from there. However, that would not really be foul mudammas. What is typically used for this recipe are canned fava beans or dry beans.

  3. DELICIOUS!! Could not find Fava beans so I substituted with canned butter beans. Also, I used a Serrano pepper, just preference. Its came out fantastic. Easy recipe and great for vegetarians. Served with sliced cucumber and pita bread. Next time, I will double the sauce mixture. Highly recommend!

      1. Great recipe idea but please transliterate as "ful", the whole "foul" (fowl) spelling made me want to scream every time I read it.?

      2. Thanks for sharing, Kendall! The spelling is what is recognized in search, although we tried to share the correct pronounciation in the first paragraph...and as an Egyptian, it is more like FOOL not Ful 🙂 We all recognize that translating from one very different language to another may not be 100 percent perfect.

  4. Hi,
    Do you drain the canned beans before cooking? Or do you keep the water they are in plus a half cup water?

  5. Hi I have fresh fava beans from the farmers market, how would i prepare them for this recipe? looks delish!!! thankyou

    1. Hi Diana, I am assuming you have fresh green fava beans? You can blanch the beans so they soften and then mash them up and follow the recipe from there. However, that would not really be foul mudammas. What is typically used for this recipe are canned fava beans or dry beans (the small brown ones linked to in the post).

      1. Thanks for this recipe! I have visited Egypt a few times and have such fond memories of the food, especially foul and koshari. I tried my hand at making koshari once for friends and family... and it turned out surprisingly decent. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!

        An online friend recently started exploring the world of Middle Eastern cuisine and mentioned fava beans. Of course my mind went directly to foul which led me here! If I am not mistaken, I remember eating this dish with eggs for breakfast, along with pita. I imagine scrambled tofu could easily be substituted for eggs for a protein-packed breakfast!

        I am putting this recipe on my Must Try list. Thanks again for sharing it!

  6. My first time making foul and I loved it! The recipe is super easy to follow and the dish tastes great.Thank you so much!!

  7. What a quick, easy and delicious recipe! Was looking for something more wholesome, flavouful and tastier than regular baked beans. Came across your recipe. Exactly what I was looking for. So easy to put together. I used pento beans (I think that's what they're called). Would use a little less lemon next time. Passed on the olive oil to keep it healthy. Went deliciously with my breakfast of egg, cheese and toast. Also used my favourite baby vine tomatoes which have a very earthy punchy taste adding that extra burst of flavour. Recipe took me right back to my holidays in Egypt. Thank you for sharing ? this will become a regular part of my brekkys no doubt ?

  8. This is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made! Thank you. My family said it was better than what we have at our favourite hadramawt.

  9. Delicious!! I cooked the beans from dried and peeled them before cooking. I almost threw them out before finishing the recipe because they seemed overcooked and waterlogged. But went ahead and finished the recipe and the extra liquid cooked out AMD it wad AMAZING!! I served this with a meal of roasted chicken, roasted cauliflower and warm pita bread.

  10. This is sooo simple yet so flavorful and healthy, thank you for helping me decide what to do with fava beans! Awesome.

  11. This looks delicious and I would definitely make a meal out of this. However, I live in central Wisconsin and even my best grocery store, that has a huge international section, does not carry fava beans, canned or dry. I know I could order them on the internet, and I may have to resort to that. Is there any other bean that could substitute for the fava? If the recipe turns out as good as it looks, I may petition my grocery store to carry the canned fava.

  12. have been craving this dish for a while and finally made it today (my first time!) with dried fava beans. my sister helped me shell them and it was so, so worth it! the dish is extremely simple once the fava are cooked. if you have access to already shelled fava its so simple. i really enjoyed the results of the dried fava i used though which were light green/creamy color i love the brown fava too though so may get those ones canned next time. everyone loved it. in fact, we don't have any leftovers! thank you so much for sharing your recipe. this is the first time i've visited your site and i've already found so many recipes i want to try. i also made your vegetarian cabbage stuffed rolls which came out SO good. always been intimidated to make those but you broke it down and it was actually quite simple. so fresh and flavorful. thank you again!

  13. I have been experimenting with foul for a long time and I can say that this recipe is just perfect! I use canned foul beans, sometimes with added chickpeas (I live in UAE, here you have a big choice of canned foul beans). I also like to add 2 tbsp of tahini and mix well, which adds some creaminess and a nice taste (tip from a good Yemeni restaurant).

  14. This was wonderful!! I adore the combination of cumin and lemon together, any day, and the inherent nuttiness of the beans, with which I was unfamiliar, really "popped" those flavors!

    QUESTION: I have a girlfriend from India who makes (and taught me) a dish nearly identical to this, but she used cannellini (white kidney) beans and didn't put the lemon juice in with the garlic/jalapeno mixture, she squeezed it over the top of each bowl as she served it. Otherwise, when I ate your version, I would swear it was the same, served with pita and charred cauliflower. Have you ever heard of that?

    1. This looks soooo good! With trying to cut back on meat right now, this looks perfect! Can't wait to try!