Egyptian Breakfast Beans (Ful Medames)

This traditional Egyptian breakfast (pronounced fool mudammis) is almost always made with dried fava beans. They need to soak at least 8 hours before cooking, so start this dish the day before you want to serve it, to let the beans soak overnight. Ful Medames is usually served with pita bread and a fried egg, but take some liberty and serve it over brown rice with fresh lemon instead.

By Del Sroufe,


  • 1½ pounds dried fava beans, soaked for 8 to 10 hours
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lemon, quartered


  • Drain and rinse the beans and add them to a large pot. Cover with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the beans are tender, 1½ to 2 hours.
  • While the beans are cooking, sauté the onion in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it is tender and starting to brown. Add the garlic, cumin, and lemon zest and juice and cook for 5 minutes longer. Set aside.
  • When the beans are fully cooked, drain all but ½ cup of the liquid from the pot and add the onion mixture to the beans. Mix well and season with salt to taste. Serve garnished with the lemon quarters.

Comments (4)

(5 from 3 votes)

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A great breakfast from my childhood. At my Meme in Egypt they would round with it in milk churns and you’d lower your ful container down from the balcony in a basket with the money and pull up breakfast. Get some Egyptian bread, it is a special bread! Add the lemon quarters but also hard boiled eggs and wedges of raw onion, we weren’t going work after all. Mashing some of beans with some egg, a little raw onion and scoop up with the bread. Great memories, thank you for sharing this


What a mental image -- lowering the ful container in a basket with the money and pull up breakfast! Of course, WFPB eating does not include eggs, but there are other wonderful things to have with it! The next time I make this for us at home, I will think of your memory. /|\


This is our favorite breakfast bean recipe. We like to put all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot and we cook the beans between 35 to 40 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot. We often use the Instant Pot delay feature to have the beans ready for us when we wake up in the morning. Thanks so much for posting the recipe online!


I really love this idea but so many questions. Do you soak the beans first? If you use the delay function do you adjust the time or is it still 35-40 minutes? I’d like to think soak the beans, setting the delay timer for the amount of time for soaked beans. Do you add the onion and all of the spices with the beans as they soak?

About the Author

Headshot of Def Sroufe

About the Author

Del Sroufe

Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and executive chef of Wellness Forum Foods, a whole-food, plant-based meal delivery and catering service in Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook and Better Than Vegan. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a healthy plant-based diet.
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