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Foul Medemes

April 18, 2021
Photo: Alpha/FlickrPhoto: Alpha/Flickr

My memory of my grandfather singing the kiddush far precedes my understanding of its meaning. The Hebrew words poured from his mouth, set to a hymn of his own making, silencing everything: the rattling of dishes in the sink, idle gossip, the chaotic energy of our chosen street corner.

Featured in: The Taste of My Grandfather’s Youth


  • 1can of fava beans
  • ¼cup olive oil
  • 1Tbsp cumin
  • fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1whole diced onion
  • ½can of tomato sauce
  • 1Tbsp crushed garlic
  • salt (to taste)


  • Most people recommend using dried fava beans and soaking them over night. My grandpa was not a patient man and I can attest to the fact that canned fava beans taste just as good.

  • Step 1

    In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cumin about halfway through.

  • Step 2

    Add the beans, tomato sauce, and lemon juice, and stir periodically over low heat.

  • Step 3

    For a smoother consistency (closer to what my grandfather liked) use the back of a spoon to smash the beans.

  • Step 4

    Add salt to taste.

  • Step 5

    Drizzle with olive oil after cooking, top with chopped parsley.

  • Step 6

    Serve with hard-boiled egg and toasted pita bread.