April ‘ful’: A hearty meal with spiced beans

Contributed by Anna Buss

April ‘ful’: A hearty meal with spiced beans
This is no April Fool, but rather a seriously hearty and delicious meal — even if you do eat it on the first day of April. This recipe is a take on the popular Middle Eastern breakfast, "ful mudammas," which is traditionally made from fava beans. The recipe has been adapted to use cannellini beans because they are more common in grocery stores in the U.S. and pair well with olive oil. Although the flavor will differ from the original dish, this recipe is quite versatile and will work with various types of beans and garnishes. For the best eating experience, add some fresh garnishes and serve with whole-wheat pita bread. Common garnishes for this dish include diced fresh tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and minced parsley, but feel free to add other herbs and vegetables to make it your own. Or leave off the hard-boiled eggs to make this a satisfying vegan dish.

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 1/2 clove of garlic, minced (save 1/2 clove to add at the end)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans (rinsed)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons of tahini
  • Optional garnishes: fresh tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, pickled vegetables


  1. Add olive oil, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt to a large sauté pan.
  2. Bring to medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add cumin, 1 clove of garlic, and a cup of water. Cook on medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are soft and the water evaporates.
  4. Add cannellini beans and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add tahini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 clove of minced garlic and mash with the potato masher.
  6. Serve warm in a wide, shallow bowl.
  7. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt to taste.
  8. Garnish with your choice of hard-boiled eggs, herbs, and vegetables.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 184
  • Total fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 11 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.5 g
  • Total sugars: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 7 g