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Apr 7, 2013 10:58 PM

Fresh Ful - what to do

Having been happy with the results of fresh chickpeas - it is now apparently fresh ful season, and I have no idea what to do with these. Do you shell the pods like the chickpeas? Cook them whole like a giant greenbean? Is there a Westernized name for ful or similar product that would make a wider recipe search easier?


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  1. they are also known as "fava" beans.

    yes, you shell them. -- unless they are very young and tender (no beans showing).

    just saw a couple of recipes on a blog for ful in mezze dishes (like served with hummus), and also made into falafel.

    pinterest has some lovely dishes; search "fava." here is an unusual, but delightful, combination: a salad of trout, beets and fresh fava beans, simply dressed with lemon and olive oil. another pairing is with asparagus and peas, similarly dressed.

    14 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Oh my....I'm reading about the prep work that goes into getting the beans out and I'm not sure it sounds entirely worth it.

      Apparently, they're also called broad beans in the West, which might make looking for treatments easier? I dunno....there are enough cafes/restuarants around where I live that will have specials. May just be best to enjoy them there.

      1. re: cresyd

        my former law partner is lebanese, and she is crazy about them. to her, they are worth any effort.

        do you ever shell peas of any sort? you have to sit on the back porch, you know. ;-).

        1. re: alkapal

          Not peas, but I do enjoy the process of shelling fresh chickpeas this season. However, ful appear to need to be boiled, then shelled, then the step that tirmis has (the lupin bean) where there's also an outer skin to remove.

          I like the ritual of eating tirmis as a snack where you individually remove each skin as you eat, but taking the time to boil, shell, and then skin ful in bulk to make a larger dish doesn't quite sound worth it. As I think of it, the places that sell prepared tirmis may as sell prepared ful - but that definitely isn't the same as taking the time with the fresh ones.

          1. re: cresyd

            yep…. steam or parboil to remove the hull.

            i get it about any large amounts…..
            very precious little legumes! LOL

            1. re: alkapal

              This recipe also mentioned the possibility of roasting them before hulling them. (


              Maybe I'll get inspired - but I think your idea of going for lima beans sounds excellent. I enjoy shelling chickpeas, and I even regularly go to the work of making bald almonds - but this seems to be where my prep work enthusiasm stops.

              1. re: cresyd

                like limas, i love the frozen shelled edamame. excellent flavor & better value than fresh. makes for fabulous bean salads. (and no fiddly shelling. LOL).

                (sort of how i think the birdseye frozen boxes of cooked winter squash are wonderful. like silken puree! ).

                1. re: alkapal

                  Shelling definitely raises the effort level. For fresh chickpeas, some people recommend using them to make a fresh version of falafel - and I can't imagine going to all that work to end up frying them past the point where you can tell that they're fresh.

                  1. re: cresyd

                    If you want to do even more work, and end up with blackened finger tips to boot, you could make Claudia Roden's recipe for fava beans and artichokes.

                    1. re: bcc

                      Well everything is in season right now....perhaps a job to encourage a more foodie friend to get excited about.

                      1. re: cresyd

                        i wonder if i can buy some already shelled and hulled -- like i can limas at the farmer's market?

                        it is funny the "missions" i find here on chowhound.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I live in Jerusalem - and I think that the places that sell snacking tirmis also occasionally have "snacking" ful. But that's already cooked and seasoned to a degree. Could probably be used to cook with, but not in the same way.

                          1. re: cresyd

                            oh, jerusalem! wow, that's terrific. i drooled over ottolenghi's cookbook!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              What I like the most about the Jerusalem cookbook is that so many of the classic recipes from the region involve a lot of slow cooking methods that take hours. So looking for that kind of flavor when you don't have all afternoon to watch something simmer is great.

            2. re: cresyd

              You can shell them like peas without cooking, then boil them to soften the inner skin. If the inner bean is really young, the skin is edible, but on older beans it's tough and bitter.

      2. italian garden salad… with rosemary vinaigrette….

        i'm going to see if they have to be boiled first. anyhow, your post inspired me, and these recipes could be made with baby limas, in my book. ;-).

        1. If the pods are very young and fresh, you can cook them whole. Shelling them isn't difficult, but it's a two-step process. Getting the beans out of the pods goes quickly, taking the membranes off each bean takes a little longer. I have cooked them without bothering with the membranes (olive oil, lemon juice, chopped mint), and it didn't seem to make much difference. Some people eat them raw with a little salt. B'teavon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bcc

            Most of the pods that I've been seeing do not stike me as young, but a bit more hearty.

            That being said, with independence day coming up - it would be an activity to be completely engaging while avoiding the crowds.