Ful medames is a staple food in Egypt, especially in the northern cities of Cairo and Gizah. It is a great way to use up leftover herbs and makes a delicious bed for eggs that need using. Toast off some stale bread and scoop up a mouthful of flavour.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 400 gram tin of fava beans (or use half the weight of dried beans, soaked overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • handful of parsley or coriander or both, shredded
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 400 millilitres passata
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 4 eggs


  1. If you are using dried fava beans soak the fava beans overnight. Drain, place in a pan, cover with plenty of water and cook for around one hour until tender.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, cook the onion and garlic on a medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs, lemon juice, and spices, then cook for a few minutes. Add the passata and tomato puree plus 100 millilitres of water, which you can first use to wash the remains of the passata out of the jar or packet it came in, add the fava beans, then cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
  4. While the ful medames is finishing cooking, fry 4 eggs. Serve the ful medames with the fried eggs, season to taste and enjoy.

Hungry for more? Try another of our delicious egg-citing recipes including frittata a piacere, fridge forage omelettehuevos rancheros or sweetcorn fritters.

Food Savvy tip: Dried beans are great for storing for a long time and are generally the more affordable option. A quicker option are tinned beans which can generally be added to a dish and just heated through. If you don’t have fresh parsley or coriander you can add in dried parsley at the end of cooking or ground coriander seeds at the same time as other spices.