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How to Make Yemeni Ful--Mudammas

posted on: May 24, 2022

By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer

Ful or Mudammas (فول مدمس) is a Middle Eastern dish made of fava beans that is cooked with vegetables and seasoned to perfection. Ful is made in many different countries, each having their very own variation. In regions like the Levant and North Africa, ful is made with chickpeas, tahini paste, and lemon. In Egypt, ful is a street food typically eaten for breakfast and is considered the national dish.

Popular Egyptian street food ful cooked in a large metal jug. Photo Credit Mark Wiens.

In Yemen, ful is cooked in clay and stone pots, it is sometimes called a bean stew, soup, or chili. Yemeni ful is different because of its spiciness. It is usually eaten for breakfast or dinner and is typically eaten with rooti (small loaf bread), gamati, or malawah (layered bread).

Ful is common in Yemen because it is very affordable to make while also being nutritious. Fava bean is known for its protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Here is a step by step recipe in creating this traditional and flavorful Yemeni ful:


  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 juicy and ripe tomato 
  • 1/2- 1 cup of water
  • 1-2 chili Pepper/ jalapeno
  • Whole can fava beans/ medamas (make sure you save the juices)
  • A teaspoon of salt, cumin, black pepper, and coriander (taste as you go, add more)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (for that reddish-orange color)
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (to add after)
  • Sprinkle with cilantro (add towards the end)
  • Piece of coal/ charcoal (optional)

Time to Cook!

  1. You can either cook this in the traditional way, in a clay or stone pot or you can use any pot at your disposal.
  2. Heat up the olive oil, and once heated add the finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers/ jalapeno (only if you can take the HEAT ) 
  3. Allow the vegetables to blend together and allow the flavors to mesh together.
  4. Add in the tomato paste and mix everything together.
  5. Add water 1/2 to 1 cup depending on how you like its consistency to be.
  6. Once you allow everything to simmer on low for a couple of minutes, add in the can of ful. 
  7.  Add the seasonings (you can either do this before you add the can of beans or after)
  8. Now you either decide whether to blend it or leave it nice and chunky. 
  9. Allow to simmer on low for 10-20 minutes. Don’t forget to taste and season if you think it needs more. Remember to trust your instinct. 
  10. If you LIKE, you can heat up a piece of charcoal and add it in an aluminum foil filled with olive oil. Make the foil like a mini cup, and place a little oil in the bottom. When you do this make sure the charcoal doesn’t touch the ful. Leave it in, and cover for 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove it and dispose it safely. 
  11. Now it’s time to SERVE. Add a bit of ghee and sprinkle on the chopped cilantro.  

Yum, now time to eat with pita bread, or if you’re feeling advantageous make some delicious Yemeni bread.

Always remember to adjust the recipe in accordance to your liking. Now enjoy!

**How to make Ghee: Simmer 1 to 2 sticks of unsalted butter until it turns brownish and bubbly. Turn off the heat and wait until it is cool and solidifies to transfer to the container. It will last up to 3- 6 months. Store it in a cool place. **

Yemeni Ful cooked in a stone pot. Photo Credit: Menal Elmaliki
Yemeni Ful cooked in a stone pot, Yemeni bread (gamati), with espresso. Photo Credit: Menal Elmaliki

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