An Egyptian “fava”-rite!

Bismillaah.

Allaah, the Most High, says in Qur’an:

“Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you.” (Al-Baqarah: 57)

Because of salatul-jumu’ah (Friday prayer), Friday is part of the weekend in the muslim world.  For our family, it’s the only day we all have off (husband’s weekend is Thur/Fri; kids’ weekend is Fri/Sat).  So we try to make it special.  For the past year or more, our family breakfast tradition for Friday mornings has been to eat ful and ta’meyyah (the latter has been axed from the menu recently).  Husband goes out early in the a.m. and buys fresh ful and bread, and I usually make ice cold lemonade or hot tea to drink with our breakfast, depending on the season.  It’s one of the few days we all sit and eat breakfast together mashaa Allaah.  Here’s a picture I found on the net:

Ful Medames (Egyptian Fava Beans dish)

Ful Medames (Egyptian Fava Beans dish)

About Fava Beans

From Wikipedia:

“Fava beans are a common staple food in the Egyptian diet, eaten by rich and poor alike. Egyptians eat fava beans in various ways: they may be shelled and then dried, bought dried and then cooked by adding water in very low heat for several hours, etc. They are the primary ingredient in Ta`meyyah (Egyptian Arabic for falafel), and Egyptians have made deriding Levantine felafel (made from chickpeas) as inferior something of a national sport. However, the most popular way of preparing fava beans in Egypt is by taking the mashed, cooked beans and adding oil, garlic, lemon, salt and cumin to it. It is then eaten with bread. The dish, known as ful medames, is traditionally eaten with onions (generally at breakfast) and is considered the Egyptian national dish.”

Health Benefits (source)

1. These are very good source of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber and very low in fats.

2. Protein: Very good source of high quality protein. Broad beans provide all the 8 essential amino acids. In fact, 1 cup of uncooked beans provides about 80% of the daily requirement of protein.

3. Dietary fiber: Very good source of dietary fiber. Contrary to the popular notion, beans have more fiber than most fruits and vegetables. It is a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

4. Regulates blood glucose absorption: Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines and forms a gel like substance that slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates. And so, the carbohydrates are broken down slowly and absorbed slowly from the intestines, thus they regulate the blood sugar levels and prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar levels after meals. This is especially good for diabetics, those with insulin resistance, etc.

5. Lowers blood cholesterol: The dietary fiber binds to the bile acids in the intestines. Bile acids are needed for the synthesis of cholesterol in our body. As the dietary fiber is not absorbed, it takes the bile acids along with it when excreted resulting in less amount of bile acids available for the synthesis of cholesterol. Thus dietary fiber lowers the blood cholesterol levels.

6. Folic acid: Folic acid prevents the accumulation of homocysteine, an intermediary metabolite of protein metabolism, which promotes atherosclerosis by reducing the integrity of blood vessel walls and by interfering with the formation of collagen. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood are associated with heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

7. Magnesium: Good source of magnesium. It helps in relieving fatigue, relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus relieving the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches, tension and soreness in muscles etc. Magnesium does the above functions by acting as a calcium channel blocker. It reduces the contractions in the blood vessels and nerves, relaxes them and facilitates the improved flow of blood, nutrients and respiratory gases to all the parts of the body.

8. Good for heart: The collective effect of black beans in lowering the cholesterol and homocysteine in blood and relaxing the blood vessels and nerves is very good for the heart.

9. Iron: Iron helps in respiration at the cellular level by synthesizing haemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen to cells.

10. Manganese: Good source of manganese. It functions as a cofactor in various metabolic reactions involved in the efficient production of energy and enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes.

11. Copper: Good source of copper. It reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and enhances the activity of enzymes that are needed to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments and joints.

12. Molybdenum: Good source of molybdenum, it helps in the detoxification of sulfites from the blood.

As they say in Egypt…”Bil Hanna wa Shifa!”

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8 thoughts on “An Egyptian “fava”-rite!

  1. I first had home cooked ful, and liked it. I was never able to bring myself to eat ful bought from outside, it just didn’t look that appetizing, but the kids liked it. I did/do love falafel/ta’meyyah and I used to eat it everyday. But I have to say, Egyptians are wrong, that made from chickpeas is better!

    • I understand what you mean about the food from outside 🙂 It depends on where you get it from I think. I think the stores have a better looking (and tasting) ful than the street cart guys.

      Ta’meyyah everyday!!!! How? All that oil! My husband still sneaks some in on Fridays, then when I give him the look, he’s all “What? Ohhhhhh! That’s right, you didn’t want ta’meyyah?!?!?!”

      I’ve never had the chickpeas one I’ll have to try it inshaa Allaah.

  2. fava beans are so good! i am a bean fanatic as i don’t eat meat just fish, beans, eggs for protein. a sister from Sudan introduced me to Fava beans and I am hooked 🙂

    • Laila, you would do fine in Egypt then….Egyptians looooooove fish as well as their ful.

      So how can I convince you to come visit me, huh? Big fish dinner? Big fava bean breakfast? LOL 🙂

  3. Too true, and although I have no children of my own..or a husband for that matter we can all learn from the lessons of the sunnah. Every prophet sent for example was a shepherd and for good reason. A friend of mine pointed out today that sheep’s wool is almost warmers than a shepherds’ rags but the rags remain the same. Being a shepherd is about sacrificing for the great good of the flock!

    • Wow! You made some excellent points there, PTexan! Thanks so much for enlightening us…and for visiting my blog 🙂 Hope you’ll stick around!

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