I’m back this week with our second episode of Abeer’s Day Off and cooking up Ful Mudammas. Check out the show and read on to learn about this special dish and everything you need to recreate it!
If I can guess what one of the most popular Arab foods to take grocery stores and college dorm fridges by storm, I’d have to say it’s hummus. You can almost find it anywhere, from gas stations to vending machines, flavored in endless varieties and a staple of vegetarian menus. But dare I say I’ve grown a little tired of it? Now look, don’t get me wrong. I love me a good plate of warm hummus doused in extra virgin olive oil with a side of warm bread and olives as much as the next person. But when it comes to hearty bean dishes, Ful Mudammas is the unsung hero of a proper Arab breakfast.
Ful Mudammas is slow-cooked fava beans, served with warm bread and lots of fresh vegetables and pickled condiments. Variations of Ful Mudammas can be found all over the Middle East, including North and Eastern Africa. The dish is popular for being so flavorful, filling, and inexpensive-making it an ideal breakfast for anyone working long, hard days. But it’s not limited to morning meals at all. While visiting Palestine, we ate our biggest meal of the day in the early afternoon. In the evening, we often walked down to the local restaurant to grab a dozen of falafel, a few plates of ful, and fresh bread. Trust me-this will redefine “breakfast at night” for you without a doubt.
Traditionally you will find a lot of restaurants in the Middle East cooking Ful all night in big pots. I take a little shortcut and always keep cans of cooked fava beans on hand-you can find them at most grocery stores that sell Middle Eastern products. It makes it so much easier for when I want to enjoy this meal and I can throw it together in no time. I let the Ful cook while I prep sides and toppings, making this dish so easy and cheap to throw together. You can go minimal with sides or make a spread out of this to impress all your guests at your next Sunday brunch. Either way you make it, I have a feeling Ful will become a staple for any meal of the day at your house! Enjoy!
Check out the recipe below!
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yields: 4-6 servings
- 2 cans cooked fava beans (ful mudammas)
- 1/4-1/2 cup water (if needed)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 large chilis (jalapeno or serrano)
- juice of a half lemon (optional)
- tomatoes, chopped
- olive oil
- dakka (ingredients above)
Sides and Condiments:
- tomatoes, sliced
- cucumbers, sliced
- radishes, quartered
- green onions/scallions
- middle eastern pickled cucumbers or turnips
- limes/lemons, quartered
- fresh pita
Ful: In a medium-sized sauce pan or pot on high heat, bring the 2 cans of fava beans (including their juice from the can) up to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the fava beans simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. If they look like they are getting dry, you can add additional water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) during the cooking process.
Dakka: Prepare the dakka while the beans cook. In a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, chilis, and salt until they are a chunky paste. You can use a small food processor or blender if you don’t have a mortar and pestle. If you want some extra citrus, you can add the juice of a half lemon. Add a heaping tablespoon of the dakka to the fava beans as they simmer and keep the rest aside.
When the fava beans are tender and still have some liquid, turn the heat off and mash them gently, leaving it slightly chunky.
Plating: Use a big platter to surround the bowls of Ful Mudammas with all the sides and condiments (a big cutting board works great). Plate the Ful in decorative bowls and top them with the remaining Dakka, chopped tomatoes, a healthy drizzle of olive oil, and garnished with chopped parsley or green onions. Serve with lots of warm pita and hot mint tea! Enjoy!