Foul – One of Jordan’s Oldest and Most Important Dishes

On my long stay in Jordan , during a month I learned how to cook some of the most famous jordanian dishes. Here is first of my favorites.

Foul (ful maddamis)

Foul (pronounced fool) is a very simple concept, which explains why it dates back thousands of years and can be traced around the Middle East. In Jordan, it was most commonly eaten as or with breakfast, but I quickly noticed that it was a side dish at every meal, and even offered as a snack. Served with warm rounds of bread, it makes a great meal.

Some consider ful a “dish of the poor,” but there’s nothing poor about its nutrition or flavor. A peasant dish eaten in the street and the home, ful also appears as a mezze plate in expensive restaurants.

What I love about ful: it’s not only healthy and delicious, but a great dish for those in a hurry, on a budget or who need something filling. It offers a tasty alternative to hummus, which has become a been-there-done-that food.


The key ingredient in foul are fava beans, and a rich variety of spices and olive oil that, once combined, make a delicious, hummus-like meal or snack.

The variations for ful are endless. Fava beans can be puréed, mashed or left with the beans intact. The seasonings vary widely from cumin to paprika and chili powder.

The standard garnishes are olive oil, tomatoes and fresh parsley. Additional toppings on the side can include: chopped onions, fresh mint, radishes, tahini, or hard-cooked eggs. There is no one right way to make this dish.



Fava Beans

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a staple in much of the world. The beans come encased in long fat green pods. Fava beans vary in size. The large greenish beans require longer soaking and cooking and need to have their skins removed. What we are concerned with here are the small brown beans, the ones commonly used for this dish. The beans are labeled in a variety of ways.



Jordanian Foul:


Fava beans
Olive Oil


Boil the fava beans with water until they are very soft. (can also be soaked overnight for same result)

When soft, remove from heat and grind with salt until a paste forms.

Add tahini (optional)


Add limon


add green peppers, and salt to taste, and continue to mash.

The standard garnishes are olive oil, tomatoes and fresh parsley or mint.


Top the finished product with olive oil and  and serve!


Bon Appetite !!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s