Existing Member?

You'd be a "fūl" not to choose me!

Passport & Plate - Egyptian ful

Egypt | Monday, 2 March 2015 | 5 photos

- One 19oz can of faba/fava beans
- One medium onion
- Ground cumin
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt
- 1/2 sweet green pepper
- 1/2 medium tomato
- One lemon
- Olive oil
- Pita bread (use a homemade recipe, I prefer whole wheat)
- Parsley


How to prepare this recipe
This is a really easy recipe, and is very forgiving for any mistakes or deviations. First, slice up the onion, and then stick them in a pot with some olive oil. Heat them until they're translucent. Take the pot off the heat. Then, empty the can of faba/fava beans into the pot, with the juice. Mash the beans (I use a cocktail muddler). Once mashed, toss in a pinch of sea salt, a large dash of cayenne pepper (depending on your spice tolerance), and a tsp of ground cumin. Again, the recipe is forgiving, so "dashes" and "pinches" is an OK measurement. Then squeeze the whole lemon into the pot, avoiding any seeds. Then grate a pinch of lemon rind. Put in a dash of olive oil, stir, and then put back onto heat until it boils. This would be a good time to bake your pita bread, which only takes a few minutes. Once boiled, take the ful off the heat, and slice up half a sweet green pepper, half a tomato, and a pinch of parsley. Serve the ful into bowls, and garnish with the fresh veggies + tomato. Eat with your hands and enjoy! If you want to add some more fire to your "ful", you can add some more cayenne pepper at this time ;)


The story behind this recipe
I was in Egypt in December of 2010, which you may know as being the time when the Arab Spring started. Egypt wasn't a great place to be. Although I was there before the riots started, I left Alexandria the day before there were bombings, and protests were starting in Tahrir Square (Cairo). It was near the end of my trip, and I was broke (paying all the necessary bribes to get around was a costly experience).

I was one of the last tourists to see the Pyramids before the government shut them down for the duration of the Arab Spring. I left the Pyramids, heading to the area around Tahrir Square. I arrived just as the lunch rush was starting for the street vendors. Unbeknownst to them, they would not be able to safely sell their food in a couple days. For, what I believe was the equivalent of $0.20CAD, I got a huge bowl of steamy, stinky, brown mush with some pita bread. It was bereft of colour, and was sticky and hot. I had discovered ful. I had no idea what to do with it. The vendor, motioning with his hands, instructed me to use the pita bread in lieu of cutlery. I ate it. And you know what? It was delicious. Wholesome, spicy, filling, and cheap.

Unfortunately, not being an Arabic speaker, I couldn't get the recipe from the vendor. However, after scouring the internet and speaking with an Egyptian friend back home, I was able to reconstruct the dish with some added fresh vegetables. It's one of my favourite cold-day lunches, taking less than 20 minutes to make. Further, whenever I eat it, I'm reminded of wonderful opportunities I have had, having the luck to be able to see Egypt before it faced such tumultuous times, and the capacity for people to survive and thrive in any circumstance.

About avery_travels

Follow Me

Photo Galleries

Where I've been

My trip journals