If avocado toast had a Middle Eastern cousin, it would be "Ful Toast". This vegan-friendly breakfast recipe is easy to make and has a Mediterranean spin on things. Here's my favorite recipe for ful medames (a.k.a. fava beans recipe) served up on whole-wheat toast.
What is Ful Medames?
Foul (or ful) is fava beans or broad beans. Moudamas (or medames) is the process of how the beans are cooked.
In Arabic, fava beans are pronounced "fool" and not "fowl". Because foul is an English spelling of an Arabic word, there are several ways you will see this word spelled in English: ful, foul, or fool (this is even more confusing in my opinion). You will also find many different spellings for moudamas or medames.
You can buy foul in a can, or make it from scratch using dried fava beans. For this fava beans recipe, I use a can.
How To Eat Ful Medames
In the Middle East, ful medames is a very common breakfast, but it varies slightly from country to country. For example, Lebanese foul has mashed garlic and Egyptian foul has ground cumin.
Either way, you serve ful medames with bread. Eat it as a stuffed pita sandwich or as a dip.
This fava beans recipe is a lighter version that's blending the best of 3 worlds - Egypt, America, and Lebanon. I've added mashed garlic to represent my Lebanese side, ground cumin for my Egyptian ties, and whole-wheat toast for the American part.
How To Make "Ful Toast"
- Prepare the foul. Boil a can of ful beans on the stovetop with some water for about 5 minutes. Drain the ful beans and return to the pot. Mash some fresh garlic with salt. Squeeze the lemon. Add the garlic, lemon, cumin, and olive oil to the foul beans.
- Prepare the cucumber tomato mint salad. Chop the cucumber, grape tomatoes, and mint.
- Toast some whole-wheat sliced bread.
- Spread some ful beans on the whole-wheat sliced bread. Top with the cucumber tomato mint salad. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Is Ful Medames Healthy?
Ful medames is vegan-friendly and packed with nutrients such as folate, manganese, iron, and potassium. For every cup of cooked fava beans, it contains 33 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber.
On a side note, fava beans can be dangerous for people with a rare genetic disorder called G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency).
How To Make Ful Medames From Scratch
Making ful medames from scratch requires a lot of time but is fairly easy to do. You will need to soak the dried fava beans the night before, then boil the bean until they are soft. The larger the fava bean, the tougher the skin. I recommend removing the skins one by one (which is why it takes so long to prepare).
You can make a big batch of ful medames and freeze the beans for up to 3 months in an airtight bag or container. This is my preferred way of eating ful fava beans toast, because I make it from scratch.
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Ful Medames Toast
- 4 bread slices
- 15 ounces canned ful medames or homemade ful medames
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 10 grape tomatoes
- 2 baby cucumbers
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare Ful Medames
- Open and rinse ful medames can of beans.
- In a pot, add ful medames and water. Allow foul to boil on high for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Mash the garlic with some salt using a mortar and pestle. Squeeze the lemon in a bowl.
- Drain the ful beans and return them to the pot (not on the heat). Add the mashed garlic. Mash the foul beans and the mashed garlic together. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and ground cumin.
Make the Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad
- Chop grape tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces. Chop fresh mint leaves.
Assemble the Ful Toast
- Toast the sliced bread.
- Add a layer of ful on top of the toasted bread. Add the cucumber tomato mint salad on the ful.
- Drizzle with some olive oil.
- You can make homemade foul in a big batch and freeze it instead of using foul from a can.
- Traditional Lebanese foul moudamas does not usually have ground cumin, however, it has mashed garlic. Egyptian foul usually has ground cumin but not mashed garlic, which adds a nice dimension of flavors. The taste is awesome if you add both the smashed garlic and the ground cumin!