Embark on a culinary adventure to the heart of East Africa with Eritrea's iconic dish, Ful Medames. Bursting with robust flavors and rich textures, this traditional Eritrean dish is a celebration of simplicity and heritage. Slow-cooked fava beans seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices, served alongside tangy tomatoes, creamy tahini, and fresh herbs, Ful Medames tantalizes the taste buds and transports diners to the vibrant streets of Eritrea. Whether enjoyed as a hearty breakfast staple or a comforting meal shared with loved ones, Eritrean Ful Medames embodies the essence of Eritrean culture and hospitality. Experience the warmth and depth of East African cuisine with every satisfying bite of Ful Medames.

Here's a recipe for Eritrean Ful Medames:


  • 2 cups dried fava beans
  • Water for soaking
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped parsley, hard-boiled eggs, tahini sauce


1- Rinse the dried fava beans under cold water and then place them in a large bowl. Cover the fava beans with water, ensuring they are fully submerged. Allow them to soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

2- After soaking, drain the fava beans and rinse them again under cold water.

3- In a large pot, add the soaked fava beans and enough water to cover them by a few inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the beans simmer until they are very tender, usually about 1 to 2 hours. Check periodically to ensure the beans are covered with water, adding more if necessary.

4- Once the fava beans are cooked, drain them and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash the fava beans until they reach your desired consistency. Some prefer them completely mashed, while others like to leave some beans whole for texture.

5- Stir in the minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mix well to combine all the flavors.

6- Serve the Ful Medames warm, drizzling extra olive oil on top if desired. It is traditionally accompanied by chopped tomatoes, onions, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, and a side of tahini sauce. Enjoy your Eritrean breakfast delight!

Note: Ful Medames is often served with flatbread or pita on the side for scooping up the delicious mashed fava beans.

Nutritional Values:

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the main ingredients in the Eritrean Ful Medames recipe per serving:

Dried Fava Beans (1/2 cup, cooked):

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Calcium: 30mg


  • Rich source of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • High in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain bowel regularity.
  • Contains iron, important for transporting oxygen in the blood and preventing anemia.
  • Good source of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy release.

Olive Oil (1 tablespoon):

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g


  • Provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which support heart health by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • May have anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Supports skin health and hydration when consumed in moderation.

Lemon Juice (Juice of 1 medium lemon):

  • Calories: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Vitamin C: 12mg


  • Excellent source of vitamin C, crucial for immune function and collagen synthesis for healthy skin.
  • Contains antioxidants that may help protect against certain chronic diseases.
  • Aids in digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes and promoting bile secretion.
  • Alkalizing effect on the body, potentially helping to balance pH levels.

Garlic (1 clove):

  • Calories: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Vitamin C: 1.2mg
  • Iron: 0.1mg


  • Known for its antimicrobial properties, helping to fight off infections and boost immune function.
  • Contains sulfur compounds that may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
  • Rich in antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • May have anti-inflammatory effects, beneficial for reducing inflammation and supporting overall health.

Please note that these values are approximate and may vary based on factors such as brand, cooking methods, and specific varieties of ingredients used. Additionally, toppings and additional ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and parsley will contribute additional nutrients to the dish.


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