The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine

Breakfast beans of dreams


Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Igrewupint­he Middle East, where this bean dish, called ‘foul medammes’, is a breakfast staple. Beans are rich in gut-microbe-fuelling fibre and protein, providing enough sustenance to stave hunger off until late in the afternoon. I use tinned fava beans here to save time, and you can often find these tins with ‘foul medammes’ written somewhere on the label. Use any other tinned beans, such as kidney beans, chickpeas or black-eyed beans, if you can’t get hold of fava beans.

INGREDIENT­S For the beans

– 1 tbsp olive oil – 2 garlic cloves,

crushed – ½ tsp cumin seeds

– ½ cinnamon stick

– 2 x 400g tins fava beans – ½ tsp hot paprika

– ½ tsp chilli flakes – juice of ½ lemon

For the relish

– 1 ripe tomato

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– a handful of parsley,

finely chopped

To serve (optional)

– 2 eggs, soft-boiled – a selection of

pickled vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots and turnips

– 4 pitta breads, toasted


Place the olive oil for the beans in a small saucepan over a low heat; when it has just started warming through, add the garlic, cumin seeds and cinnamon stick. The idea is to cook out the rawness of the garlic for a minute or two without letting it colour or burn.

Drain the fava beans and add them to the warm garlicky oil along with the paprika and chilli flakes. Top with 300ml just-boiled water from the kettle and braise over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly. You will notice that the beans start breaking down slightly and thickening the whole mixture. Season with the lemon juice and salt to taste.

For the relish, grate the tomato into a small bowl. Add the olive oil and parsley, and stir.

To serve, place the beans in individual small, deep bowls. Top with the tomato relish and, if liked, half a soft-boiled egg. Pickled vegetables and toasted pitta breads are a fantastic side.

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