Egyptian Breakfast Ful Medames Recipe

A trip to Cairo wouldn’t be complete without trying the ancient Egyptian breakfast staple, ful medames. To make the dish, the ‘fūl’ or beans are warmed and gently flavoured with cumin, onion, tomato, garlic and parsley. The richly flavoured beans are often accompanied by a colourful array of sides: smoky griddled flat breads, creamy tahini sauce with a lemony kick, hard boiled eggs for sustenance, and refreshing chopped tomato and cucumber salads.

Ful medames was a famed Egyptian breakfast recipe as far back as the fourth century where the beans were buried over gentle embers to slow cook – ‘Medames’ means buried in Egyptian. Yet today it is enjoyed throughout the Middle East, from Sudan to Syria, Israel and the Yemen.

This ful medames recipe is extremely quick and easy to prepare, and mostly made from pantry staples. Speed is of the essence at breakfast, so we’ve used a can of ready cooked ful medames – the special Egyptian variety of fava beans – so your breakfast is ready in minutes.

We drizzle tahini sauce over the cooked beans to serve. Tahini sauce is a very simple blend of tahini, water and lemon juice – and is great with many other Middle Eastern dishes. Drizzled over za’atar roast chicken, the rice and lentil dish mujadarrah, or grilled fish and salads.

Ingredients Serves: 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 can of ful medames beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 100g tahini
  • 75ml water
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Aleppo pepper
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • Chopped tomatoes & cucumber
  • Pitta bread


  1. Fry together half the onion and cumin powder in the olive oil for three minutes. Add the fava beans or ful medames beans and 100ml cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for one minute. Crush the beans using a potato masher.
  2. Add the remaining onion, tomato, lemon juice and salt. Simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
  3. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic and salt.
  4. To serve, drizzle the tahini sauce over the cooked fava beans and sprinkle with aleppo pepper. Garnish with the boiled eggs, chopped tomatoes and cucumber and toasted pitta bread.
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Egyptian Breakfast Ful Medames Recipe


  • Hi, I’m excited to try this! Should I drain and rinse the can of beans before adding or not?

    Julie on

  • wow

    zain on

  • I made this. It’s delicious and filling! I used it for a GoLo breakfast. Seems like ancient people understood nutrition better than modern people. I had an over abundance of vine ripened tomatoes from the garden. Cannot overstate the difference naturally ripened tomatoes make in this simple ingredient recipe! Fabulous, in regular rotation now!

    Whitney on

  • Hi Salah, thank you so much for spotting this error! We will fix this now. Thanks, Helena

    Helena @ Sous Chef on

  • Muhammara is a (delicious) walnut/red pepper spread, I think you mean mujadarrah/mejadara :)

    Salah on

  • I just made this for my Egyptian husband. He says the recipe is perfect! Thank you!

    Lori Aly on

  • Just back from Egypt early. Broke my foot. Loved the food, people, history the list goes on. Will make this recipe.
    Thank you

    Kay on

  • Medames means mashed, or crushed in Arabic; it has nothing to do with fire.

    leila on

  • One of my favorite meals, anytime of the day!

    Eve on

  • I’m delighted you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for letting us know. Best,


    nicola on

  • Just tried this yesterday – it was a great success for all the generations round the table! Reminds me of visits to the Middle East – and the fresh and delicious food I’ve eaten there. Thanks for the recipe :-)

    Elizabeth on

  • Made this right now!! This is absolutely delicious (I’m going to try to make this at least once a week!).

    Jane on

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