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Hummus-Ful: Simplicity of Delicacy

The second most common variety of hummus based dish, after the basic hummus-bi-tahini (regular hummus), is the Hummus-Ful combination. A delicious, beautiful and nutritionally perfect combination, which millions eat every day.

Hummus (chickpeas) and Ful (fava beans) is kind of a Yin-Yang combination. They complement each other perfectly in taste, texture and even color.

This dish is popular in Israel and the Palestinian territories, in Jordan, Syria and for a lesser degree in some surrounding countries in the middle-east. It is also eaten by millions of immigrants and long-term tourists from these countries, all over the globe.

חומוס-פול של אבו שוקרי בירושלים
Standard hummus-ful, the stew version at Abu Shukri, Jerusalem.

חומוס-פול של חליל, רמלה
Classic hummus-ful, the dough version. Halil, Ramla.

מחלוטה אצל סעיד בעכו
“Machlutta”. Humus Said, Acre

משולשת אצל אבו נאדר ביפו
“Meshuleshet” (Triplet). Abu Nadder, Jaffa

חומוס-פול באבו אדהם
Hummus-ful at Abu Adham, Tel-Aviv

In Israel you can find it in several versions, in thousands of restaurants and hummus places, eaten by the rich and the poor, the hard labor workers and tied executives. It is very common among laborers, construction workers, fishermen and other people who do physical work for hours each day. If you have little time and money to invest in meals, than Hummus-Ful has all the taste and energy you need.

Both legumes are highly nutritious, naturally, but they differ in many ways; for example, Ful is digested quicker, making it a more available source for carbohydrates (Glycemic index of 80, compared to 20 in chickpeas). The hummus is rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins, which can “fuel” you for long hours.

Ful (also spelled “fool” or “foul”) was known to man for thousands of years, and was cultivated and grown in ancient Israel. It was common through all the middle-east and also in some Mediterranean countries such as Greece, where you can find it until today.

Ful is especially popular in North-African countries, including Egypt where it is more or less the national legume. Falafel, which most people know in the Israeli-Palestinian version that’s made of chickpeas, is called Taamiya in Egypt and is made from Ful (and as far as we can tell, that’s the original recipe too).

Like chickpeas, fava beans are unbelievably versatile – I myself tasted dozens of different ful casseroles, with or without hummus. In future posts I’ll share with you other gorgeous recipes for Ful. Meanwhile, lets go for the basic stuff:

Cooked Ful (for Hummus-Ful)
[3-4 portions]
1 cup dried Ful (Egyptian fava beans)
1 clove of Garlic
1/2 tomato
1 tsp cumin
1/2 a lemon
salt, pepper

1. Soak the beans in water overnight, drain, wash and soak for two hours more.
2. Put in a medium-sided pot, cover with water and cook until soft boiling emerge.
3. Cover the pot and and keep cooking over the smallest stove flame you have, until the ful begins to soften. It should take between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your stove. The longer the better. If the water evaporate completeley at some point, add some.

4. Chop and add the tomato and garlic, and go on ccoking until you get the desired texture*. Just before, you can add the salt and cumin (which can also be added on top of the dish, but in a much smaller dosage).

Serve over hummus (recipe) and/or tahini, with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley and preferably something hot (like Yamanite Zchuk, pickled hot peppers, ect.). Don’t forget the pita bread (not toasted triangles, unless you are a degenerate yuppie).

* The Texture could be anything from stew-like to porridge-like, which I decided to emphasize with this collection of fine photos, from Israeli hummus places.

6 Comments on Hummus-Ful: Simplicity of Delicacy

  1. Thanks for giving photos and reciepes for humus ful!!!
    I wish the photos were full sized so we could see the look of the whole plate. Didn’t seem to be able to click on it to enlarge?

    Also, originally was the ful baked in an oven? Do you know about this or any versions that might be done in an oven.
    Thanks, Donna

  2. If the headline and the introduction emphasized hummus made with both hummus (which you define as chickpeas) and ful, why does the recipe omit hummus?

  3. Isn’t those foods arabic though? I lived in the middle east for over 20 years.. and i never knew it was Israeli food?

  4. Every time I look at a hummus recipe there is always someone arguing about where hummus originally came from. So far, it is usually someone who is not from Israel going on about it. I don’t really care where it originally came from. This is such a petty argument. It tastes good and that’s all that matters to me.

  5. Having just come back from Tel Aviv for the second time, i have had to start making my own hummus, as shop stuff is just nothing like what you get over there. I just want to make everything that goes with it as i am missing going to eat Hummus most days lol. I dont even know what everything that you put in it is called, please help, i loved the dishes out there, i need to go back just for hummus, great site by the way xx

  6. “In Israel” I love that… Are you saying that it’s an Israeli dish now?

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