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I came across this at my local hypermarket, and I'm wondering what it is, and what one can do with it.

If it isn't obvious from the picture (Bigger version here https://i.stack.imgur.com/M4TKG.jpg) Its a dark brown bean, roughly the size of a coffee bean, and a medium dark brown colour. The specific manufacturer typically sells iranian/middle eastern herbs, so its likely to be from that area.

What is it, and how generally does one use this?


These are fava beans, the term "foul" (uncommon transliteration) on the pack hinting at a dish that these beans are typically used for:

A ful, a stew-like dish of cooked and spiced beans from the Middle East.

  • 17
    Fava beans are known as broad beans in the UK. They go well with liver and nice Chianti ;)
    – GdD
    Oct 14 '15 at 7:41
  • @GdD Yeah - we discussed this over in chat...
    – Stephie
    Oct 14 '15 at 7:42
  • 4
    I pity the ful?
    – GdD
    Oct 14 '15 at 7:51
  • 1
    Foul/fool/pol is not only the dish but also the name of the bean in some languages
    – slebetman
    Oct 15 '15 at 5:12
  • 2
    As an aside, these fava beans are not exactly the same as the broad bean favas. These are sometimes called "field beans" and have a stronger flavor than the flat, broad favas. And they are great in Ethiopian food such as shiro wot or the Ethiopian version of ful medames.
    – NadjaCS
    Oct 16 '15 at 1:17

I'm pretty sure that's fava beans. It's usually transliterated as ful, but seems close enough. See for example ful medames - the first word in Arabic on your package is the same as the first one there.

They also certainly look like fava beans, though it's a little hard to see clearly in that photo. See the Google image search results for fava beans.


Foul is an alternate spelling of ful, an Egyptian dish made of fava beans. Fava beans are therefor known to some as foul beans, dried foul or ful/foul Medammes.

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