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Kary Osmond: Ultimate comfort food breakfast is simply irresistible
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Kary Osmond: Ultimate comfort food breakfast is simply irresistible

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Red lentils help thicken this breakfast stew.

If you love hummus and pitas, you are going to love this recipe.

Ful medames is a power-house breakfast served in Egypt and all over the Middle East. It’s traditionally made by simmering fava beans until tender, and then finishing with a hit of garlic, cumin and lemon to perk up the flavor. It is the ultimate comfort food breakfast that will leave you feeling energized for the entire morning.

Although the dish is almost always made with fava beans, I love using kidney beans or pinto beans, as they can be easier to find. Kidney beans and pinto beans work marvelously in this recipe because they are both super creamy beans. To help stretch a can of beans, I’ve added some red lentils to thicken this breakfast stew.

Once the beans have thickened, spices and fresh ingredients are added to this breakfast dish to make it simply irresistible.

Ful Medames

Serves 5 to 6

  • 2/3 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water, plus more if needed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomato
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 pieces pita bread

1. In a medium saucepan, combine red lentils and 4 cups of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 20 minutes, until lentils are falling apart.

2. Add kidney beans. Simmer, stirring often, until mixture is thick, not soupy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mash well with potato masher or fork. Stir in a little water if the mixture is too dry.

3. Stir in tomatoes, onions, garlic, oil, salt, chili flakes, cumin and black pepper. Simmer, stirring, 5 minutes.

4. Stir in lemon juice. Taste; adjust seasonings if desired. Divide among five or six shallow serving bowls. Serve beans hot with pita wedges.

Tasty tips

  • Pitas are usually dry if they’re not super fresh. To bring them back to life, wrap a stack of pitas in aluminum foil, and bake for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  • If desired, garnish the stewed beans with a little oil, red pepper and cumin.

(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at

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