Fuul (Somali-Style Fava Bean Stew) Recipe (2024)



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Lisa Dreyer

I am not clear why there is so much confusion regarding “tomato sauce”. The recipe does not call for Marinara or pasta sauce. It is tomato sauce, plain, in a can, easily sourced.

Joyce Fetteroll

The "sauce" in the name does suggest pasta sauce. But it's tomatoes that have been cooked into a sauce with some spices. It comes in a can labeled, helpfully, "Tomato Sauce". It's shelved with all the other canned tomatoes. Recently companies have been adding extras to the label like basil or garlic. Unless the recipe is very simple, you won't notice the difference. So if the store is out of plain Tomato Sauce you can use one of the others.

knots landing

Nyt is in my brain!! Made this for the first time last week modeled after the ful served at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, and following a youtube recipe. Used kidney beans and berbere spice blend. The spice was delish but not quite what I remembered so I will try this. Will also try favas. I serve with toast from good bread, with toppings of minced red onions (lemon juice to cut sharpness,) jalapeños/serranos sliced thin, and hard cooked egg. Truly the breakfast of CHAMPIONS.

Erin B

Cannellini and great northern beans are great, widely available substitutes for fava beans. Not identical but very close!


Thanks for the replies to my tomato sauce question! The NYT Cooking online community is the best - your tips and comments on these recipes are always super helpful, even when they’re not an answer to a direct question. You all have made me more confident and skillful in the kitchen, and I so appreciate it. Happy cooking!

Judith L. Killen

This is absolutely delicious. I made this fuul for our Sunday brunch today, served with over-easy eggs and ciabatta. I really enjoyed mixing and toasting the Xawaash mix. And the directions were easy to follow. I hope to see more recipes from Ifrah F. Ahmed. I subscribed to NY Times Cooking just so I could get this recipe!


I think they literally mean just the plain canned tomato sauce you can get at any grocery store. http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/10127449/prod_ec_1568101702??hei=64&wid=64&qlt=50

Joseph O'Sullivan

I used frozen favas and canned tomatoes. It’s an easy and delicious pantry dish with those. I added some lime juice after plating which boosted the flavor. I know limes are common ingredients in West African cooking but I’m not sure if they are in East African cuisine.


Pardon me. Used a pound of dried favas. Skipped other tomato ingredients. Used lots of sliced onion and 5 large garlic cloves. And a dash of vinegar. 2 tsp. salt. Here's a xaawash recipe for a large batch I poached from somewhere:Xawaash Somali Spice Mix•2-inch cinnamon•1/2 c. cumin seeds•1/2 cup coriander seeds•2 tbsp black peppercorns•6 cardamon pods•1 tsp whole cloves•2 tbsp ground turmeric•(cayenne)•break up cinnamon in a plastic bag•toast all till aromatic•grind

Ellen Tabor

If you're in New York, you can find them at Kalustyan's (Lex between 28th and 29th). I buy them for making hummus, and some (I think the Egyptian-style) are already flavored with cumin. They are earthy and delicious and ALREADY PEELED.

Susan M.

I ate this fragrant and delicious dish almost very day for breakfast when I lived in Sana'a, Yemen. We usually ate it with bread alone, but sometimes with eggs and occasionally with goat-milk yogurt. I am so happy to see the recipe highlighted and shared with this audience!


I would assume it is referring to canned tomato sauce. Look in the canned food section of your grocery store near the canned tomatoes.


@Skip - let's see, if the recipe calls for 5 and 3-quarters teaspoons of various mixed spices to make the Xawaash (4t + 0.5t + 0.125t + 0.125t = 5.75t), I'm going to go far out on a limb and suggest that you use 5.75 tsps of Xawaash mix.


You are correct. Step 3 explains how to make the Xaawash mix.


Step 3 says: Prepare the Xaawash mixture and then goes on to describe exactly what it consists of and how it is prepared.

Lisa G

This is amazing. I used canned everything. Canned favas in cumin, canned diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce and for good measure a can of pinto beans. The spices were perfect. This may be my go to baked bean recipe for the summer!


Love this recipe. A Somali coworker of mine used to bring it to work for me, and she always included coconut milk and Serrano peppers. Try it on a waffle!

Rich Signell

I cooked the chopped onion (130 g) and minced garlic (15 g) in the bottom of a Dutch oven. I used a 14.5 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (tomatoes + liquid) instead of the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and the water. For the fava, I used 1/2 lb dried beans (Gonsalves brand, product of Peru), soaked for 8 hours then cooked in Instant Pot on high for 24 minutes. I mashed 2 cups of cooked beans right in the Dutch Oven. Could add cooking liquid if thinner consistency desired. Perfect!

Robert in NJ

Amazingly good recipe. When you look at it, it is truely international. Saute garlic & onions, add tomatoes, add any spice mix from any region or cooking style, add beans, some tomato sauce and voila -- a great dish.


Good! It‘s winter, so I used good-quality canned tomatoes in place of fresh. Consistency was smoother & a bit of the fresh taste was gone; if using canned tomatoes, I recommend a little less mashing, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice & chopped parsley or cilantro to finish it off.


Added some baking soda to favas when pressure cooked to soften skins.


This is absolutely delicious!! Bonus: The scent of the toasted spices lingers. I added 2t of cayenne to give it a little boost, which worked out well. Can't wait for tomorrow morning's leftovers, to be served with over-easy eggs!

Variation to consider - just lemon and garlic!

From my middle-eastern family - - heat 1 can fava beans in a pot and mash- crush garlic cloves (2) with 1/2 tsp salt in a mortar, then juice of 1 lemon. Dump in hot beans and stir, slather with olive oil and serve w pita bread


I wonder how subbing canned pigeon peas for the favas would taste? Maybe it would come closer to the earthiness you get from favas. That's what I have on hand, so maybe I'll give it a try.

greg clark

Serve with fiery onion relish and soft cooked egg


Used fresh beans and do NOT recommend: we had much less than we expected to have before shelling and peeling, so it was basically a tomato sauce with fava garnish, and because they were unmashable they tasted like undercooked lima beans.


Delicious! I subbed lima beans for fava because that's what i could find at the grocery store and then read the comments and kicked myself for not going to the middle eastern grocery across the street! Ah well, there's always next time.


What a flavorful dish! I followed the instructions exactly. I topped off the dish with butter, chopped onion and jalapeños. Next time I’ll try with eggs over easy. We eat this dish regularly at an Eritrean restaurant and I was very excited to see a recipe. Fava beans were easily available thru our middle eastern grocery store and I’ve also seen them on Amazon. I only had whole canned tomatoes on hand, so I made my own sauce by using an immersion blender. Double the recipe when you make it!


Made this for lunch today after having ful at a Mediterranean brunch place in LA last weekend. Their ful was tasty but this recipe blew it out of the water. So good. Could see this becoming a regular breakfast option.


Add more beans. Very good, though. Used cannelloni beans.

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Fuul (Somali-Style Fava Bean Stew) Recipe (2024)
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