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Yemeni beans   foul   ful

Foul (Yemeni Chili)


I never really was a big fan of beans but I developed a taste for foul (ful, pronouced like the word fool) when I was living in Yemen. Another one of my favorites in the yellow lentil soup which is popular in the levantine countries. The also have a popular egyptian dish called ful medamamas, but its kind of a different dish altogether. I think the Yemeni foul is similar to chili because of the spicy tomato sauce base. Its also especially good with a serving of fresh bread. This is one of the dishes which is eaten almost daily in Yemen for either breakfast or dinner, because it is inexpensive, easy to make, and of course it is also healthy. Some people mash the beans slightly for a chunky texture and some blend them in the blender with a bit of water for a smooth texture. Thats totally up to you.


1 (14 oz.) can foul medamas (fava beans)
half of an onion, chopped
1 fresh tomato (chopped pureed) or 1/3 cup of canned tomato sauce
4 tbsp. oil (more or less if you want)
1/2 -1 tsp. salt (depends if the beans/tomatoes have salt)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, optional
a pinch of cumin, coriander and black pepper
chopped spicy green chili to taste
about 1 cup water

How to make

1. Sautee the onions, chopped chili and garlic on medium heat in oil for 5-10 minutes until the onions brown slightly.

2. Add in the tomato and cook until the tomato dissolves a bit and you can see the oil turn red. About 10 minutes. Add the spices.

3. In the meantime, mash the beans with a potato masher (or the bottom of a clean can) or puree them in blender with a bit of water.

4. Then add the beans to the tomato mixture. Add about 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat for aound 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the water ratio and stir to make sure the beans don't burn. Add more water if needed. I prefer a consistency similar to a thick soup which can be eaten with bread. You can also add the salt at this point if you haven't already.

5. If you are making this for guests, a nice touch is to serve it in some kind of heated clay dish. (either like the one I used or I am thinking that those pots which they use for french onion soup would work well) and sprinkle fresh tomatoes/lettuce/cilantro on top with a bit of white cheese. It's totally optional but just dresses up an otherwise plain dish.



I have discovered peeled & strained fava beans in a can. We have not noticed any difference between them and hand mashed. They are really smooth and silky on the tongue. I mashed and strained my own the other day and that dang near killed me. California Garden brand with the predominantly green label are the best we have tried so far. Thank God for shortcuts that don't compromise the dish!!!

01.25.2014 Reply


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Sam a

it is great thanks a lot from Saudi Arabia

02.15.2014 Reply


Love your videos :) It's cool to see another person's spin on the recipes I make all the time! Thanks for taking the time to make so many high quality videos. I am sure you are helping many young Yemeniat at home and others who like Yemeni food. Also, many Arabs don't think we have speciality dishes so it's great to refer them to your website so they can see a great display of all of the amazing dishes we do have. May Allah reward you :)

03.30.2014 Reply


Awsam, same as my mom rescipy at old days when I was young, Realy thank you very much, and keep going.

07.09.2014 Reply


I live in USA. I couldn't find Maglaa! From where did you buy almagla? It looks more a metal than stone, right? 

02.08.2015 Reply


This maglaa is not a yemeni one, but actually a colombian clay type. But I use it in the same way, on the stove to serving on the table. The link for this one is on the right (its an affiliate link). Good luck.


Wallace W

Use to live in Sana'a and visited the fish restaurants often. They had a fish dish which had a spicy red sauce applied to the meat and then placed in a taboon with the scales down which was eaten with a side disk of foul. Have been trying to determine the sauce mix so I can enjoy at home. Can anyone guess as to what was in it?

10.26.2016 Reply


I am so happy to come across your site. Your food looks so good. I'm about to make your fool recipe right now. I can't wait. Thank you so very much for your videos ans blogs :)..

06.16.2016 Reply

Rel kin

Amazing recipes :) I love the history of it..eating something enjoyed long long ago <3

07.02.2017 Reply


Hi! My husband grew up in Yemen and I want to make some good Yemeni food for him. About the foul, what is the white stuff that you add on top as garnish? Feta-cheese? Thanks for you amazing dishes! We are going to enjoy them a lot!

04.20.2018 Reply


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