Ful for Breakfast

April 22, 2012 § 3 Comments

Ful, or ful medames, is a common breakfast dish in Egypt, but is served in varying forms throughout the neighbouring countries, and you will find it on most menus in Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurants in Melbourne. As it is made in such a variety of ways in the world, I have no shame in presenting you guys with this version, passed down to me by former housemate and current international minx Ellena Savage.

This is an express version of the dish, which I make semi-regularly for a weekend breakfast. It’s basically a warm fava bean dip, served with pita and if you’re extra-hungry, a soft-boiled egg each. It’s also high-protein, low sugar and low-carb, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Canned fava beans can now be bought from most supermarkets, as well as middle-eastern groceries, where they will generally be labelled as “ful medames”.

Serves 2.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large clove of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tin ful/fava beans, rinsed and drained
The juice from half a lemon
1 small tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large handful roughly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Sliced chilies
Coriander to garnish (optional)

Finely chop the onion and crush and chop the garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Stir while cooking till translucent. Add the ground cumin and cook for an additional 10 seconds. Turn the heat up slightly, and add the rinsed and well-drained beans. Fry them for a minute and then, using a fork or masher, gently mash the beans. You can do this roughly or mash them entirely smooth. Turn the heat off and add the juice of half a lemon, another tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of  salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the parsley. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve in a bowl, garnish with chopped chilies, I like big green ones for lots of flavour, and maybe some small fiery red ones if you like a spicy breakfast (you should!) and some coriander.

Serve with fresh pita and, if you’re really hungry, eggs boiled softly, peeled of their shell and placed on the side of the ful.

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