Muffins recipes

National dish of Egypt

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  • Independence: 25. 1. 2011
  • Capital: Cairo
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Population: 84 550 000
  • Area: 1 002 450 km2
  • International code: EG
  • Currency: Egyptian pound (EGP)
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Ful medames


  • 2 cups small Egyptian fava beans (ful medames), soaked overnight (and left unpeeled)
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4–6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Chili-pepper flakes
  • Cumin
Ful medames is national food (dish) of Egypt


As the cooking time varies depending on the quality and age of the beans, it is good to cook them in advance and to reheat them when you are ready to serve. Cook the drained beans in a fresh portion of unsalted water in a large saucepan with the lid on until tender, adding water to keep them covered, and salt when the beans have softened. They take 2–2 1/2 hours of gentle simmering. When the beans are soft, let the liquid reduce. It is usual to take out a ladle or two of the beans and to mash them with some of the cooking liquid, then stir this back into the beans. This is to thicken the sauce. Serve the beans in soup bowls sprinkled with chopped parsley and accompanied by Arab bread. Pass round the dressing ingredients for everyone to help themselves: a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, the quartered lemons, salt and pepper, a little saucer with the crushed garlic, one with chili-pepper flakes, and one with ground cumin. The beans are eaten gently crushed with the fork, so that they absorb the dressing.


Ful medames or simply fūl, is an Egyptian/Sudanese dish of cooked and mashed fava beans served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. A staple meal in Egypt/Sudan, it is popular in the cuisines of the Levant, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. The roots of ful medames can be traced to Ancient Northern Sudan and Egypt. Quantities of beans have been found in Twelfth Dynasty tombs (1991–1786 BC). Fava beans were also mentioned in Hittite texts and the Bible. Ramses II of Egypt is known to have offered 11,998 jars of beans to the god of the Nile. Some writers have suggested that beans were not commonly cultivated in Ancient Egypt, and Herodotus in the fifth century BC, mentions the fact that the Egyptians "never sow beans, and even if any happen to grow wild, they will not eat them, either raw or boiled." The earliest evidence of the use of ful is a cache of 2,600 dried wild beans unearthed at a late Neolithic site on the outskirts of Nazareth, Israel. Some believe that the word medammes was originally Coptic, meaning "buried," and its use here might mean that the beans are buried in the pot. This cooking method is mentioned in the Talmud Yerushalmi, indicating that the method was used in Middle Eastern countries since the fourth century. Although there are countless ways of embellishing fūl, the basic recipe remains the same. Once the fūl is cooked it is salted and eaten plain or accompanied by olive oil, corn oil, butter, clarified butter, buffalo milk, béchamel sauce, basturma, fried or boiled eggs, tomato sauce, garlic sauce, tahini, fresh lemon juice, or other ingredients. In the Middle Ages, the making of fūl was monopolized by the people living around the Princess Baths, a public bath in a tiny compound near today's public fountain of Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha, a block north of the two elegant minarets of the Mosque of Sultan Mu’ayyad Shaykh above the eleventh-century Bab Zuwaylah gate. During the day, bath-attendants stoked the fires heating the qidras, huge pots of bath water. Wood was scarce, so garbage was used as fuel and eventually a dump grew around the baths. When the baths closed, the red embers of the fires continued to burn. To take advantage of these precious fires, huge qidras were filled with fava beans, and these cauldrons were kept simmering all night, and eventually all day too, to provide breakfast for Cairo's population. Cookshops throughout Cairo would send their minions to the Princess Baths to buy their wholesale fūl. Fūl is prepared from the small, round bean known in Egypt as fūl ḥammām. The beans are cooked until very soft. Other kinds of fava beans used by Egyptian cooks are fūl rūmī, large kidney-shaped fava beans, and fūl baladī, country beans, of middling size. Fūl nābit (or nābid) is fava bean sprouts, fūl akhḍar ('green fūl') is fresh fava beans, and fūl madshūsh is crushed fava beans.

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