Sprouted fava casserole (Foolyieh)

February 5, 2013  •  Category:

I had lunch with Kamal Mouzawak at his Tawlet restaurant recently; while we were on the topic of his exquisite cookbook, he let it slip that the foolyieh was his favorite recipe.

Fool is fava beans in Arabic.  I figured the dish was probably Egyptian since this is where fava beans are eaten in the street daily. ( An Egyptian friend in Lebanon told me that their fava beans are the best). 

 The cool thing with this dish is having to sprout the beans first; apparently that quadruples their nutritional benefits. Otherwise, it is an easy and filling dish that reheats well. 

Plan on 3 or 4 days to get the beans sprouted. 

NOTE: You can make this dish with other types of beans. You can make this dish without sprouting the beans.


  • 1 lb Fava beans (dry and wide ones)
  • 1/2 cup of rice (preferably medium-grain like sushi, Egyptian or Italian)
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard leaves, washed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil+ 1 Tbsp
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped and mashed in a mortar till pasty
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped
  • salt, pepper


  1. Wash the beans and soak them in a bowl of water for a whole day, changing the water a couple of times. Drain the bowl and keep the beans in the bowl covered with a wet towel for 2 days; by then the beans would have sprouted and swelled up. Peel them. 
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onions in a large pot. While the onion is frying, cut off the stalks from the chard, and chop the stalks; add the stalks to the onion and fry as well for 5 minutes over medium heat; add 3 cups of water and the beans. When the beans are almost done, add the rice and season with salt and pepper and cover the pot; let the mixture simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, throw the chard leaves in another pot of boiling water for a few seconds until limp, drain and purée in a blender. Add the chard purée to the pot with the beans and rice and stir to combine. 
  3. Lastly, prepare the cilentro pesto: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet, add the mashed garlic and chopped cilantro and stir a few seconds until the cilantro softens and is fragrant. Add to the pot of beans and stir briefly. Serve. 



NOTE: Kamal confirmed that the dish is Egyptian in origin.


17 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Nadege says:

    I keep on reading that sprouting beans, seeds and grains increase their nutritional value. You just confirmed it.
    This dish looks good.

  2. weavethousandflavors says:

    Hi Joumana,

    The flavors in this are just beautiful. i remember my Mum saying the same thing that sprouting beans increases their nuitritional value three-fold. I love the the way the flavors build up in the dish with the swiss chard, rice beans and then the cilantro pesto in finality. One day we just have to eat at the same table my friend!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Rosa says:

    I’ve never eaten sprouted fava… This dish is intriguing and looks wonderful.



  4. Belinda @zomppa says:

    What a beautiful dish! All fresh, luscious ingredients – can’t get much better than that.

  5. domi says:

    Le mélange me plaît bien et le visuel est superbe pour cette préparation peu probable ici…bisous et bonne soirée

  6. Susan says:

    I didn’t know you could do that with dried beans! Wonderful, healthy dish. Swiss Chard is a favorite of mine.

  7. Claudia says:

    I love arguments about who has the best fava beans (olive oil, chocolate, bread, etc.). It’s just so sweet how we get attached to our own kitchens. This is a simple beauty. The idea of sprouting the beans – yes – grand idea!

  8. E. Nassar says:

    This is a fantastic sounding dish and yet another Lebanese recipe I’ve never heard of. If Kamal’s book is filled with similar recipe, I really cannot wait for it to be published on English and might just get a French copy and brush up on my French.

  9. samir says:

    marhaba Joumana, very interesting, does the book say where in the middle east this dish is commonly eaten and if still made today ? i bet this would be good with fresh peeled green fava as well perhaps adding them to the dish at different stage?

    • Joumana says:

      @Samir: I will ask Kamal Mouzawak and keep you posted. He does mention in that recipe that Egyptians are in the habit of sprouting their beans; (which reminds me to ask Salah, my Egyptian friend and a farmer himself). I’d try it with fresh fava as well, the way it is done here in Lebanon.

  10. Elaine Parisi says:

    Hi Joumana

    I have been following your blog for quite a while and have enjoyed your recipes. I’m of Lebanese descent and had the privilege of going to Lebanon for my first time in 2010. One of my favorite restaurants was Tawlet. We saw it on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” right before we left for our trip. It was hard to find and we walked for quite awhile until we arrived to delicious food that was more similar to my family’s cooking than any of the other restaurants we had visited. It was a wonderful experience. I still remember the beautiful display of pink and orange fresh gladiolas in a tall display when we entered the restaurant. Such a welcomed site after walking in the heat!

    You always do an amazing job of plating and styling your food. Would love to have you do a guest blog on my website http://www.tabletoptrends.com. My business partner and I sell unique and stylish tableware and we are just getting ready to launch our revised website (next week) which will have an entertaining tips section. As you know you feast with your eyes first and that is something we enjoyed so much in Lebanon … the presentation of the food.

    Keep up your great work!


    Elaine Parisi

  11. Nuts about food says:

    A while ago I accidentally sprouted chickpeas and lentils and discovered this whole world of sprouting on the Internet. It is quite fascinating.

  12. Jamie says:

    There is something about this dish that looks utterly delicious and irresistible. I just spotted fava beans the other day – I never cook them – and had the craving to make them. I have to make your dish – I love the fava beans, the swiss chard and the cilantro (a favorite!). Just such a great dish!

  13. Oui, Chef says:

    This looks and sounds glorious…love the vibrant green color!

  14. Michelle jadaa says:

    Im making this tonight.Im British ad my husbands family are Lebanese/palestinian.We now live in Canada .Im loving finding new recipes that i can share with my family ,thanks so much for your blog!

  15. Tali says:

    I love this, it lookes healthy and beautiful.

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