Egyptian Broad Beans for Breakfast- Ful Medames Recipe

Ful medames with tomatoes. I know- not so beautiful
looking, but what more can you expect?
Its mashed beans after all!
When you hear the word breakfast, your first association might be cereal and milk, bacon and eggs, sausage and hash browns, oatmeal or grits, etc. If you were French, your association might be a bowl of chocolate soup with a croissant, and if you were Belgian, some nice large waffles with whipped cream.

However, if you were Egyptian, what you'd likely have for breakfast is a nice bowl of ful medames, a mashed broad bean (fava bean) dip that is a staple in the Egyptian diet, even though ful medames is made from really cheap ingredients.

Since going gluten free, I've always been looking for foods to eat for breakfast that are filling, nutritious, and don't take too long to prepare (or can be prepared the night before and are still good in the AM). Oh, and cheap is also good. I also happen to have low blood sugar in the morning, and if I don't eat any carbs in the morning before doing anything physically strenuous, I start getting really lightheaded and dizzy. But finding frugal gluten free carbs that are cheap are not so easy.

Enter the broad bean. Where I live, dry beans are cheap (though not as cheap as in the US), and the cheapest bean of all is the broad bean. I'll be honest- I don't use broad beans much, as they have a very distinct, strong flavor, a flavor that can overpower other dishes and make them hard to work with. I shied away from using these beans, even though they were my cheapest option. But with the perfect recipe like this one? They're heavenly!
Now that I'm gluten free and looking for safe carbs, broad beans are a terrific choice. As with all beans, they are full of carbohydrates in addition to being filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals. And cheap, did I mention?

Ful medames has been my breakfast of choice as of late. They're the perfect start to my day (even without their traditionally accompaniment- pita), infusing me with energy and filling my belly with delicious foods.

Ful Medames Recipe

Broad beans (the mature brown ones, not the green ones sold fresh)
Lemon juice
Garlic (ideally fresh)
Olive oil
Tomatoes (optional)
Hard boiled egg (optional)
Pickled lemons (optional)

1. Soak the beans. I prefer to soak them for 48 hours, putting them in warm water with baking soda, switching the water and baking soda after 24 hours, and then switching the water again before cooking. This eliminates all stomach issues associated with beans for me. (I have a pretty sensitive stomach, so if it works for me, trust me, it works!) Boil the beans with no salt and a bit of baking soda until soft.

2. Mince raw garlic and add to the broad bean mixture. Add salt, cumin, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste. You want to add a lot of each ingredient, as broad beans have a very powerful flavor, and you need strong flavors to go well with it. I usually end up putting 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic, 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons cumin, and a lot of salt for each cup of cooked broad beans.

3. Mash broad beans. Add more ingredients as necessary.

4. Chop up a tomato or two, and mix with the broad bean mash. If desired, eat together with a hard boiled egg and some pickled lemons.

What is your standard breakfast? Could you ever picture eating broad beans for breakfast?
Ever eaten ful medames?
Have you ever made broad beans? What was the best recipe you found to make them?

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Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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