The Ful Egyptian
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.
|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|
|1-2||eggs per person, depending on hunger|
|large handful||of parsley leaves, chopped|
|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|
|10cm piece||of cucumber, cut into similar sized chunks to the radishes and tomatoes|
|drizzle||of olive oil|
|For the garlic tahini sauce:|
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.