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Dinner Tonight: Ful Medames (Egyptian-Style Breakfast Beans)

When I stumbled on this recipe, I was actually on the search for new ideas for breakfast, not dinner. Having grown fond of a quasi-Mexican concoction that I like to do with a bowl of beans, a fried egg, and some salsa or enchilada sauce, I looked around to see who else had caught onto the beans-for-breakfast trend. That's when I came upon Ful Medames, literally "stewed dried beans" a staple meal in Egypt for breakfast made up of fava beans, spices, sometimes egg, and pieces of flatbread.

Recipes varied somewhat (most called for dried beans and hours of cooking), but I settled on one that featured fresh onion and tomato and only used cumin as a spice (other recipes had tahini, coriander seed, and more).

It's as simple as stewing the beans for a few minutes, roughly mashing them with a fork, then mixing in chopped onion, tomato, parsley, spices, and a splash of lemon juice. Often served with egg, I took the cue from another recipe to fry mine. Fava (or broad) beans can be difficult to find canned, but at the risk of sacrificing authenticity, I think kidney beans could be safely substituted.

Though I'd planned to save some for the next morning to actually enjoy for breakfast, the stuff was too good to resist. Next time I'll double the recipe and see if some actually makes it to the morning.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

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