Sharing Food: Ful Medames

“Sharing Food,” a series by A&E, hopes to bring together students and their own cultural cuisines to discuss their recipes and stories, letting no meal go unshared.


Emily Pofahl

Minnesota Daily A&E Reporter Nina Raemont plates Ful Medames, a Sudanese dish using fava beans, in her apartment on Sunday, Sep. 27. The Sudanese Student Union lent Raemont the recipe as part of the Daily’s “Sharing Food” series.

Nina Raemont

Many dishes tell stories, and Ful Medames, a fava bean dish considered the national dish of Sudan and South Sudan, is no different.

When asked why the Sudanese Student Union decided to share this particular dish, Saja Osman, SSU’s president, said that it connects both Sudan and South Sudan. “We were trying to find a dish that incorporated both of our cultures,” said Osman.

Pronounced “full mudammas,” this comforting fava bean dish is fulfilling, vegetarian, customizable and a perfect entryway into Sudanese cooking. Sudanese people eat this dish all the time, and once you cook it, you’ll understand why.

“Since we’re in America and there’s not a lot of Sudanese restaurants, it’s kind of just our own little dish that we have to remind us … and you really can’t find it at restaurants or anything like that,” said Osman.

Fava beans, available at different halal markets around the Twin Cities, are simmered in water for around two hours then topped with various vegetables, feta cheese and hard boiled eggs, drizzled with oil and eaten with pita bread. The dish comes together with all its differing flavors to create a hearty and satisfying meal.

The dry fava beans are soaked overnight and simmered for a few hours, so this is a “convenient” dish, in Osman’s words, that takes minimal effort in the kitchen.

Ful Medames
2 cups dry Fava beans
2 tsp. salt or to taste
2 tsp. cumin or to taste
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
1 cup Arugula
2 Hard-boiled eggs, optional
2 Tbsp Sesame oil or olive oil

In a large bowl, soak the dry fava beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. The beans will double in size, so make sure your bowl is large enough. Drain.

In a large pot, add in the soaked fava beans and cover with four cups of water.

Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about two hours or until the beans are soft. In the meantime, catch up on some homework, watch a show or two on Netflix or register to vote.

The beans will be ready once you can squish them easily with a fork. They should have developed a softer, creamier texture. Add fava beans and some broth to a separate bowl and mash until a paste has developed. In Sudan, people mash the beans using a Coke bottle.

Add in the salt and cumin to taste. Feel free to add other spices and seasonings as you wish.

Scoop your beans into a bowl, crumble some feta on top, add fresh herbs as you like, some lemon juice, arugula, red onions, hard-boiled eggs, sesame or olive oil, or any other beloved toppings.

Enjoy with some hibiscus tea, Kerkede, a Sudanese staple that many drink to reduce blood pressure.