Fava bean stew

March 29, 2011  •  Category:


If you live in the US or elsewhere and you would like to get a glimpse of the food most popular in Egypt, then open a can of foul mudammas and make yourself a bowl of foul.

Foul mudammas in cans is available at any Middle-Eastern store or even the ethnic section of supermarkets.

Foul is fava beans and is considered the national (street) dish of Egypt. I am not saying that a can is the same experience as eating it in the streets of Cairo, but it will give you an idea.

Foul is pronounced fool.

Foul is beloved in Lebanon as well, however prepared a bit differently with the addition of chick peas in the broth.

This meal is very cheap, very nutritious and very speedy. It also tastes good and is part of the Arab comfort food inventory.

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 cans of foul mudammas
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh herb (parsley, cilantro or dill)
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • pita bread or any flatbread, as needed


  1. Open the cans and start heating the beans gently; using an immersion blender or a meat mallet, crush the beans a bit to get some of them mashed up.
  2. Peel the garlic, remove the green germ, chop in little pieces and mash in a mortar with a dash of salt till pasty.
  3. Peel and chop and seed the tomato and add to the beans. Add the chili if using.
  4. Juice the lemon and add to the mashed garlic, transfer to the beans and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Add some chopped herbs, and stir the beans to combine all the ingredients. Place the egg one at a time in a small microwavable bowl and add 1/4 cup of water to the egg. Cover and heat for one minute (more or less depending on your oven). The egg will turn opaque. Drain the water and plop the poached egg on the bean mixture. Proceed with the other eggs.
  6. Serve the foul with pita or flatbread.

NOTE: Traditionally, foul is served with hard-boiled eggs.


20 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Angie's Recipes says:

    I am sure I would love foul too. Comforting and delicious!

  2. Rosa says:

    A scrumptious dish! I cannot resist anything that is made with beans and eggs.



  3. Priya says:

    Quite a filling,nutritious and comforting food..

  4. Nuts about food says:

    I think I remember Anthony Bourdain eating this on the streets of Cairo

  5. Claudia says:

    The eggs just pleased me – it is so bright on top of those wonderfully spiced beans. Fava beans are hard to come by right now – but I am wondering – borlotti? Not the same but maybe just as comforting.

  6. Peter says:

    Beans. legumes…healthy & good for ya and I’m all for them. These do look like kidney beans ( from a far) and I suppose one could substitute Foul with them.

  7. domi says:

    Ce ragoût de légumes n’ est vraiment pas de nos habitudes et pourtant c’ est bon…

  8. weirdcombos says:

    Give me beans and olive oil anytime and I will be happy. Pythagoras was a ‘fool’ by not eating fava bean. I bet if he had the chance to eat your Foul dish he would change his mind about favas in no time!
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Barbara says:

    While the name is a bit off-putting when first viewed, the dish looks marvelous. I’d love this with some toasted whole wheat pita!

  10. mimi says:

    Reminds me of the Mexican breakfast, refried beans and eggs.

  11. Nadji says:

    je n’ai jamais mangé de foul.
    J’échange 2 msemmens contre une assiette de foul.
    A très bientôt.

  12. Nicole says:

    Grew up eating this but never put an egg on top. Brilliant!

  13. FOODESSA says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the pronunciation…otherwise, I would have made a ‘fool’ of myself at some point I’m sure. LOL

    Comforting meal.

    Flavourful wishes,

  14. Oui, Chef says:

    How unfortunate that the name for this dish, in english, is what it is, because it looks like a simple plate of perfection to me. A bit like an Egyptian version of huevos rancheros…delicious! – S

  15. Lentil Breakdown says:

    I love peasant food like this and only recently heard of this dish. Like the idea of the eggs on it.

  16. Magic of Spice says:

    I have never tried foul but it looks so delicious…thank you for the introduction 🙂

  17. Lara says:

    Do you have a recipe for making it from scratch? i.e. not using canned foul? I’d like to try it! 🙂

    • Joumana says:

      @Lara: You just buy the beans and soak them overnight in plenty of water. Then drain, rinse, add more water and cook on a slow simmer till cooked, about one hour. Then add all the trimmings. It is super easy. The slower the cooking, the better. The quality of the beans is what counts. Some people in Lebanon swear by Beans imported from the UK. I also have the recipe in my cookbook.

    • Joumana says:

      @Lara: I responded to your comment from my phone, but I dont see it here. OK, no problem. Yes, if you wish to use the dried fav, just get a bag of dried fava (not the hulled yellow ones), soak them in plenty of water overnight. drain and add more fresh water and simmer till cooked for about one hour. Then doctor it up as per the recipe, but suited to your taste buds. It is really easy. Some people in Lebanon add chickpeas to their ful, but the Egyptians do not. Also some people in Egypt like to swirl some tahini to theirs as well, when serving/ or a poached egg.

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