Ethiopian Ful Medames with Awaze (a spicy berbere-based paste)

Ful medames is one of my favourite savoury breakfast dishes. It is stewed fava beans (or broad beans) commonly seasoned with cumin and extra virgin olive oil. The dish is popular across the horn of Africa and the Middle East. You will find different version of it in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Egypt, and many other countries. The Ethiopian version is traditionally cooked in a berbere and tomato sauce and finished with nitter qibbeh.

Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie
Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie

I like to make mine with awaze (spicy berbere paste) and serve it with freshly diced tomatoes, green chillies, gerkins, onions, and homemade pita bread or a fresh baguette. You can find a full recipe for the awaze in my ebook. (It's a very versatile dip and it can also be used as a marinade.) It can also be enjoyed with injera and other dishes as in the picture below.


Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie
Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie

Time - 30 minutes

Serves - 2 as a main


Ingredients

  • 1 can of fava beans*

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tbs of tomato concentrate

  • 1 tbs of awaze* (spicy berbere paste) or Amaarech Berbere Blend

  • 1 medium-sized onion

  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

  • Salt & pepper

  • Olive oil

Toppings

As toppings I like to use chopped cherry tomatoes, red onions, green chilies, and gherkins but you can add your favourite toppings. If you're not vegan, you can also add hard-boiled or scrambled eggs and some feta cheese.

Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie
Ful Medames with Ethiopian Awaze - Vegan Ethiopian Food - ethiopianfoodie

Directions

  • In a large pan heat up the olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant before adding the tomato concentrate, cumin, and awaze or berbere.

  • Rinse the beans thoroughly (if using canned) and add to the pan. Mash the beans with the back of a spoon until you have a course mixture with some beans still intact. Add a splash of water, and simmer for a few minutes.

  • Transfer to a bowl, add the toppings, a dash of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, and serve with pita bread or baguette.

Note

  • *If you are in the UK, you can find canned fava beans in Arab or Turkish stores.

  • *If you decide to skip the awaze or berbere, you can also add chopped green chilies but note that it won’t have the same taste.