Ful Madamas was introduced to my husband and me through our Jordanian friends. We introduced them to our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant in Lakewood, Ohio during a Christmas Tree Lightening Festival. In return they introduced us to a menu item called Ful Madamas, a fava bean side dish. The husband friend told us of a story that when he was little, this was a common breakfast food to the everyday person. Still today I don’t understand why but the mothers in Jordan serve their children this side dish as a main dish to fill the children so much they can’t think. All the children want to do is fall asleep after eating this… then they would send the children off to school. The children couldn’t think so they would be fools. So, you pronounce this side dish as “Fool Madamas” which basically makes you a fool when you eat it.
Strange but true story… Anyways, we ate this ethnic dish and had a little problem understanding the taste in the restaurant. It is slightly creamy but then very thick at the same time. It has two opposing textures which make your mouth confused with each bite. When I came across this recipe in The Arab Table Cookbook by May Bsisu I was really excited to try my hand at making it.
I didn’t follow the directions completely but was happy with the outcome, it was very similar to what the restaurant served, only a little more flavor. It has a very thick texture like an overcooked lentil stew but then has a sort of creamy texture since the fava beans melt in your mouth. Very weird to explain I’m afraid, you’ll just have to try it to understand completely.
Although I did find the recipe in the cookbook, you can also find it at google books for free. Since the recipe is online for free, I’m going to link the book and recipe on here and also give you the recipe. I managed to use the same ingredients but didn’t cook it as suggested in the cookbook. Instead I placed all the ingredients in a crockpot and then left it for about 2-4 hours. It worked wonders. Additionally I used dry fava beans instead of canned. Soak the fava beans overnight and then just place in a crockpot when ready for cooking the full breakfast meal. If you have a timer, you can place all the ingredients in the night before and then have it ready when you wake up the next morning.
32-oz cooked fava beans, with about ¼ c water
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 ½ tbsp sesame paste (tahini)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 med tomato, seeded and diced
¼ c EVOO
Arab flatbread for serving
Toss it all in a crockpot for about 2-4 hours depending on your crockpot. I found that the beans did start to stick a little so its probably good near the end of the cooking time to start stirring the contents to assure you don’t come up with a full mess on your hands. Its not really a problem though if you just pay attention to it.