Fava Beans

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Culture: Egyptian

Food: Fava Beans

Spice: Cumin

Participant: Hanaa Louka Magar Guirgis

Why did I choose this dish?

Fava beans, known as “Ful” beans, have a long history in ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have found fava beans in Twelfth Dynasty tombs (the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from 1991 to 1786 B.C.). Ramesses III once offered 11,998 jars of fava beans to one of the gods of the Nile (Hapi or Sobek).

The traditional Egyptian fava beans is the national dish, eaten at all times of the day -- especially for breakfast. Egyptian oriental restaurants serve it as a main dish and it is sold in the streets. Ful medames is probably as old as the Pharaohs. There are many types of dried fava beans – small, medium and large.

I chose this dish to represent Egyptian culture and share it with other communities as it is quite affordable for everyone, delicious and healthy, and full of protein that keeps you full for hours.



  • 2 Fava Beans
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ cup of red lentils
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • Olive oil
  • Red onion
  • Garlic


  1. Put 2 cups of fava beans in a pot. Cover it with tap water and add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Soak it overnight (or at least 3 hours).
  2. Drain and rinse well and put it in a large pot and cover it with boiled water. Add to the pot 1 diced tomato, 1 chopped up carrot, 1 diced red onion and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Boil it for half an hour.
  3. Move all the beans with its water after being boiled for 30 minutes to a slow cooker and add ½ a cup of lentils on top of the beans (do not mix it). Leave it on slow or medium temperature for 6 hours, checking every 2 hours to add some boiled water if needed.

How to serve:

Put the fava beans with some of the sauce in a pot then add salt, pepper, cumin, juice of a lemon and olive oil. You can blend all the above and then add diced tomatoes, diced onion and ½ teaspoon of minced garlic.

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