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The Ful Egyptian Recipe
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The ‘Ful Egyptian’ Breakfast Recipe

Ful medames is a spiced fava bean stew often eaten for breakfast throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Besides being inexpensive and easy to prepare, this Ful Egyptian Breakfast Recipe ticks lots of boxes for us: the beans are warming and saucy and cry out to be mopped up, the garlic tahini sauce adds a contrasting tang, the chopped salad a refreshing element of crunch, and the boiled egg makes it brunch. Serve with the three ingredient flatbreads or any other good bread.

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil
½ small red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 x 400g tins cooked fava beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
½ tsp cayenne pepper, plus extr for sprinkling
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1–2 eggs per person, depending on hunger
Large handful of parsley leaves, chopped
Warmed flatbreads, to serve

Chopped Salad
½ small red onion, sliced into thinhalf-moons
2 tbsp lemon juice
10 cherry or plum tomatoes, quartered
8 radishes, quartered
10cm piece of cucumber, cut into similar sized chunks to the radishes and tomatoes
Drizzle of olive oil

Garlic Tahini Sauce
1 garlic clove
2 tsp tahini
Juice of ½–1 lemon


1. Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. When warm, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt (to draw out the moisture) and cook for a few minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise.
2. Add the beans, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes, half the lemon juice and 200ml water.
3. Cook for 10–15 minutes over a medium to low heat until the tomatoes break down, and the liquid reduces to a reddish sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt, lemon juice and cayenne accordingly.
4. While the beans are cooking, give the onions for the salad a head start by putting them in a small bowl and covering with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Set aside.
5. For the tahini sauce, pound the garlic and a large pinch of salt to a paste using a pestle and mortar, then mix in the tahini. Add the lemon juice and a splash of water and mix until thin and drizzleable.
6. Put a medium pan filled with water over a high heat. When boiling, gently lower in the eggs and cook for 8 minutes.
7. Remove from the heat immediately and run under cold water before peeling and slicing in half.
8. Add the remaining chopped salad ingredients to a bowl and mix together with the remaining lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and some salt.
9. To serve, put a large spoonful of salad on each plate, topped with a few lemony onions.
10. Spoon on some beans, drizzle the tahini dressing over them, then top with parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne. Nestle the egg halves on the plate and serve with flatbread for mopping.


The Little Book of Brunch Bio Sophie grew up in London and studied English at UCL. She is now a freelance writer, editor and occasional food stylist. Caroline comes from generations of French fruit farmers from Provence. She now lives in London and writes for the Guardian.

The Little Book Of Brunch is filled with easy and inspiring recipes for the best meal of the day. Brunch encapsulates everything a meal should be: easy, delicious and adaptable- it is the most fun meal of all.

The Little Book of Brunch by Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing is published by Square Peg in Hardback at £16

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