Foul Mdammas or Rustic Warm Fava Beans for a satisfying morning meal. It is usually part of a traditional breakfast; it can be just the bowl of warm beans with sunny notes of lemon juice and parsley with a generous piece of Lebanese bread or part of an elaborate breakfast mezze feast.
This recipe requires two types of beans: small fava beans and chickpeas. I rehydrate and cook my beans from scratch. I go into details about the fava bean cooking process because the canned versions are not widely available and the few ones you can find in middle-eastern stores aren’t that good.
You can use a shortcut for the chickpeas; the canned chickpea options are way better, you have organic brands and low sodium etc… so if you are not in the mood of soaking and cooking chickpeas “from scratch” it’s ok! Use canned chickpeas… you’ll be fine!
The fava bean required for this recipe is similar to the ones called “Egyptian Brown Bean”. They have a rich flavor and a creamy texture.
Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 4 as part of a mezze spread
1 cup dried small fava beans (known as Egyptian Brown Beans)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 garlic clove, grated
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped (divided)
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
You will need a colander, a medium pot, a small pot, and two medium bowls.
The day before >> Remove small stones, leaves, twigs or any broken beans.
Using a colander, rinse the beans under cool running water.
In a medium bowl, place the rinsed beans and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Cover the bowl and let the beans soak and rehydrate. Your patience will be rewarded. Soak the fave beans at least for 24 hours.
The next day, drain the beans. Discard soaking water and rinse the beans under cool running water. Place the soaked beans in a medium pot with 3 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Bring to a boil over medium high-heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and boil for 30 minutes. Check for doneness. Continue cooking and check every 5 to 10 minutes, keep an eye on the water level as well. If the pot is about to dry out, you can add hot water and continue the cooking process. You want the beans to be fully cooked, the skin tender and super soft while trying to avoid the “completely mushy” stage. This is why I advise you to check on them often; you can always cook for a few more minutes but not the other way around!
Heat the cooked chickpeas in a small pot with freshwater and bring it to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Keep warm until you are ready to assemble the dish.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the grated garlic with the lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground cumin and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley. Once the fave beans are cooked through and ready, using a slotted spoon, remove the beans from the pot and add them to the bowl with garlic and spices, followed by the cooked chickpeas. This step will allow the hot beans to lightly cook the garlic and remove its edgy notes. Add 1/4 cup of the beans cooking liquid. Mix gently and check the consistency. It should not be a soup. The sauce must be thick and a little starchy. For the consistency, depending on your preferences you can mash some of the beans with a fork or pestle for a thicker texture, or add some of the cooking liquid (but do it one tablespoon at a time).
Taste and correct seasoning.
Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm.
Usually foul mdammas is served with Lebanese Bread (or Pita), radishes and scallions on the side. You can skip the bread and have it with a spoon… it is as satisfying!