Fül (pronounced “fool”), which is Arabic for fava beans, is a favorite Sunday morning dish among Aleppian Jews and a fixture of the post-Yom Kippur table. This dish is a Middle Eastern classic that originated in Egypt. In fact, medammas is Coptic for “buried,” which suggests the original preparation required the beans to be buried in a pot. Although there are countless ways of embellishing fül the basic recipe remains the same.
There are different kinds of fava beans, which require different cooking times depending on their size, so you must make sure you use the right kind. The only fava bean used for making this dish is the small round one called fül ham man (“bath fava”). The beans should be cooked until soft; there should be no “bite” to them.
- 2 cups dried fava beans, soaked overnight or for 6 to 8 hours and drained, or two 16-ounce cans fava beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced or chopped, or chopped scallions for garnish
1. Put the soaked beans in a medium saucepan, with enough water to cover them completely. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are soft but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Rinse the beans with cool water in a strainer and drain again.
2. To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, Aleppo pepper, salt, and parsley in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour over the beans and toss. Garnish the beans with the eggs or scallions.
This recipe serves 6.