Fool Muddamas

Fool Muddamas: An Interesting Dish With An Interesting Name

Fool Muddamas: An Interesting Dish With An Interesting Name

Fool muddamas is a Middle Eastern dish made up of lightly mashed fava beans with onion, olive oil, parsley and lemon juice. It originated in Egypt where it is traditionally eaten for breakfast and prepared using small, round beans known as ful hammam.  

Fool muddamas is just one of the many names that this dish is known by. Some of its other, equally interesting names include ‘ful muddamas’, ‘ful medames’ and ‘foul muddamas’. 

History of How Fool Muddamas Came to be a Breakfast Dish

Besides the taste, the one thing that most people are intrigued about how come a dish like this is traditionally served for breakfast. You would normally expect something like this to be served at lunch or dinner. The story has its roots from way back in the Middle Ages. At that time, the Princess Baths were very popular with the people who lived in the vicinity of the famous public drinking fountain Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha. The Princess Baths was basically a public bath in a small nearby compound. To keep the water warm throughout there were bath attendants who spend the day continuously stoking the fires beneath the gigantic pots of bath water. At the end of the day when the baths were closed down, the embers continued to burn. To make best use of these embers, at night after the baths were closed, the pots were used to cook fava beans. The simmering embers cooked the fava beans through the night and in the morning, these cooked beans, called the ful, were used to prepare ful meddammes, which was served as breakfast to all the people around.  

This is why, even though it sounds more like a dish that should be served for lunch or dinner, it is traditionally served for breakfast in Egypt and through the years it has remained a breakfast dish in the region.  Interestingly, it is not as heavy as it sounds. In fact, it makes for quite a healthy breakfast. 

Ingredients & Preparation 

  • 1 ½ cup fava beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives snipped
  • Cumin, chili pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt to taste

Put the fava beans into a pot of boiling water and let it simmer on a gentle flame for about 20 minutes. 

Drain and rinse in cold water. When sufficiently cold, take off the skin from each bean. 

Crush beans lightly along with the garlic, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. 

Add salt to taste. 

Serve in a bow garnished with chopped parsley, thinly sliced onions or radish, tomato slices or olives. Alternately it can also be served topped with boiled eggs that are quartered. 

Serving Suggestions

Fool mudammas is usually served as a pita bread sandwich with some hummus and salad on the side. In Egypt, this dish is usually always served along with falafel, another Middle Eastern dish that is also made up of fava beans.  

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