The Ful Egyptian

Enjoy a taste of Egypt with this colourful brunch recipe from The Little Book of Brunch. Spiced fava beans are served alongside chopped salad, flatbread and eggs.

The Little Book of Brunch
By Caroline Craig & Sophie Missing
Buy on Amazon / Hive / Waterstones

Introduction

Ful medames is a spiced fava bean stew often eaten for breakfast throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Besides being inexpensive and easy to prepare, this meal ticks lots of boxes for us: the beans are warming and saucy and cry out to be mopped up, the garlic tahini sauce adds a contrasting tang, the chopped salad a refreshing element of crunch, and the boiled egg makes it brunch. Serve with the three ingredient flatbreads or any other good bread.

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 35 min

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
½ small red onion, diced
2 x 400g tins cooked fava beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
½ tsp ayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 lemon, juice
1-2 eggs per person, depending on hunger
large handful of parsley leaves, chopped
salt
warmed flatbreads, to serve
For the chopped salad:
½ small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
2 tbsp lemon juice
10 cherry or plum tomatoes, quartered
8 radishes, quartered
10cm piece of cucumber, cut into similar sized chunks to the radishes and tomatoes
drizzle of olive oil
For the garlic tahini sauce:
1 garlic clove
2 tsp tahini
½–1 lemon, juice

Instructions

Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. When warm, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt (to draw out the moisture) and cook for a few minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise. Add the beans, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes, half the lemon juice and 200ml water. Cook for 10–15 minutes over a medium to low heat until the tomatoes break down, and the liquid reduces to a reddish sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt, lemon juice and cayenne accordingly.

While the beans are cooking, give the onions for the salad a head start by putting them in a small bowl and covering with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Set aside.

For the tahini sauce, pound the garlic and a large pinch of salt to a paste using a pestle and mortar, then mix in the tahini. Add the lemon juice and a splash of water and mix until thin and drizzleable.

Put a medium pan filled with water over a high heat. When boiling, gently lower in the eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and run under cold water before peeling and slicing in half.

Add the remaining chopped salad ingredients to a bowl and mix together with the remaining lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and some salt.

To serve, put a large spoonful of salad on each plate, topped with a few lemony onions. Spoon on some beans, drizzle the tahini dressing over them, then top with parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne. Nestle the egg halves on the plate and serve with flatbread for mopping.

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