Slow-cooked fava beans, known as ful medames, is a popular breakfast in Egypt. If dried fava beans are unavailable, substitute dried butter beans, broad beans, or large limas. This recipe is gluten-free, oil-free, and soy-free.
For this slow-cooked version of a Middle Eastern and North African classic, you’ll need a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, and plan on letting it cook for 7 to 8 hours on low. Why a slow cooker, in this day of Instant Pot and other gadgets? Robin Robertson, who contributed this recipe, explains:
“For many years, I used my ‘70s-era slow cooker for cooking beans or bean soups. However, when I got my first high-tech slow cooker, I was inspired to look beyond bean basics and began experimenting with all of the ingredients I love. To my delight, I discovered that the slow cooker cooked a seitan pot roast just as well as it had cooked traditional roasts, and it easily cooked many of my other favorite vegan dishes.
Most slow cooker enthusiasts would agree that convenience, economy, and great taste are what keep them coming back to their slow cookers time and again. When you cook in a slow cooker, the longer cooking times allow the flavors of the ingredients to meld into a deep complexity that is often unparalleled in other cooking methods.
Slow cooking can be more nutritious, too, since the long cooking time allows the nutrients to concentrate in the food as it draws more flavor out of the ingredients. When you factor in the convenience quotient, you’ve got a kitchen helper worthy of the name.”
Recipe is from The Plant-Based Slow Cooker: Over 225 Vegan, Super-Tasty Recipes by Robin Robertson. Harvard Press, ©2020, reprinted by permission.
The Plant-Based Slow Cooker is available wherever books are sold
Slow Cooker Ful Medames
Slow-cooked fava beans, known as ful medames, is a popular breakfast in Egypt. If dried fava beans are unavailable, substitute dried butter beans, broad beans, or large limas.
- 12 ounces dried fava beans, washed and picked over
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup dried red lentils
- 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped ripe tomato
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Soak the fava beans overnight in enough water to cover. Drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker.
- Add the onion, garlic, lentils, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 6 cups of water or enough water to cover the ingredients. Cover and cook on Low for 7 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Stir in the tomatoes. If the water has been absorbed and the beans are still too firm, add a little more water, put the lid back on, and continue to cook for 1 more hour, or until the beans are soft.
- Stir in the lemon juice and serve hot topped with chopped cucumber, tomato, and parsley.
More about The Plant-Based Slow Cooker
This revised and updated edition of the best-selling cookbook Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker—now with a plant-based focus—offers 225 extremely convenient, delicious, and completely plant-based recipes for everyone’s favorite cooking machine.
In this inventive cookbook filled with enticing ingredients and flavors, veteran chef, cooking teacher, and acclaimed vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson shares her expertise on the creative use of slow cookers. Fresh from the Plant-Based Slow Cooker includes 17 new recipes throughout eleven recipe chapters, four of which focus on main courses.
There are homey and comforting foods in the American and European style, such as a Rustic Pot Pie Topped with Chive Biscuits and a Ziti with Mushroom and Bell Pepper Ragu, and there are many East Asian, South and Southeast Asian, and Mexican/Latin dishes, too.
Beans, which cook slowly under any circumstance, are fabulously well-suited to the slow cooker, and Robin includes such appealing recipes as a Crockery Cassoulet and a Greek-Style Beans with Tomatoes and Spinach. Over 20 recipes for robust chilis and stews include a warming Chipotle Black Bean Chili with Winter Squash and a surprising but yummy Seitan Stroganoff.
The Plant-Based Slow-Cooker also provides practical guidance on how to work with different models of slow-cookers, taking into account the sizes of various machines, the variety of settings they offer, and the quirks and personalities of each device. Robin addresses any lingering skepticism readers may have about whether slow cookers can have delicious, meat-free applications, and she shows how to take into account the water content of vegetables and the absorptive qualities of grains when plant-based slow-cooking.
Altogether, this new edition offers you an abundance of ways to expand your plant-based repertoire and to get maximum value from your investment in a slow cooker.
Robin Robertson is a veteran restaurant chef, cooking teacher, and an acclaimed writer. She pens a regular column for VegNews magazine and has written for Vegetarian Times, Health Naturally, Restaurant Business, National Culinary Review, American Culinary Federation magazine, and Better Nutrition.
She has written numerous cookbooks, including the best-selling titles Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, Vegan Planet, Vegan on the Cheap, and Quick-Fix Vegan. Robertson currently writes, promotes her books, and teaches classes on her innovative vegan cuisine from her home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her website is robinrobertson.com.
Photos of ful medames: Kravtzov/Bigstock
Is the skin still on the beam after being cooked all those hours Do I not have to peel them?
Hi Lucille — this recipe was contributed by Robin Robertson; I’ll see if I can get her to respond to your question.
My dad has been making this since before I was born – the skin does not come off and there is no need to peel it off either
Thank you so much for your input— I had forgotten to ask Robin!