Not Your Average American Breakfast!

Fatteh with yogurt (top) and Fatteh with Tahina

Every year we’ve been fortunate to travel to Beirut, Lebanon to visit family (hubby was born and raised in Beirut). And every year the first thing we order for breakfast is Fatteh and Foul Mdammas from Al Walid Restaurant. It’s wonderful to sit with family early in the morning, eating this warm meal and catching up with all the gossip while we were gone – something I look forward to when I visit which makes me feel right at home.

These two dishes are very popular in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt. Each country has their own way of preparing this simple meal, but the main ingredients are the same (see recipe below). Mainly eaten for breakfast and sometimes for lunch, you can find many small canteens and restaurants around the city serving it to passerby’s. The word fatteh is Arabic for “crushed” or “crumbs”, which they use a lot to garnish certain Lebanese dishes.

First, let’s talk about the dish I love most, Fatteh. This dish is a warm mixture of boiled chick peas, seasoned with cumin and salt. Topped with toasted or fried khubz (Arabic bread/Pita) and smothered with yogurt and crushed garlic, then garnished with cashews. There are many different ways to make this dish, but we like this version the most. The tangy, creamy and crunchy texture of this dish is what makes it so wonderful.

Fatteh with Yogurt
Fatteh with Yogurt is our favorite!

Next is Foul Mdammas (pronounced: fool moo-dah-mas) is made from cooked fava beans sautéed in olive oil, crushed garlic and lemon juice. Sometimes the beans are smashed or served as whole. It is garnished with parsley or tomatoes and eaten with fresh vegetables like slices of cucumbers, radishes, mint, tomatoes and pita bread.

Foul with fava beans and chick peas…
Breakfast served!
Breakfast served!

This meal is great for vegetarians and is quite filling.

Neither Lou Lou or Jaf have ever eaten this before so getting them to try it was a bit difficult since we are so used to serving simple “average” breakfasts. I don’t recall serving anything this unusual before, but they were up for the challenge and put their game face on.

Jaf trying the Fatteh with tahina for the first time.
Jaf trying the Fatteh with tahina for the first time.

I’m proud to report the kids enjoyed eating both dishes, licking off all the wonderful garlicky goodness from their spoon. Although I don’t know the “secret” recipe for Foul Mdammas and Fatteh from Al Walid, we know grandmas version of foul and its just as good!




  • 1 cup broad beans/fava beans (canned)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Onion, tomatoes, mint (garnish)

Drain canned beans. Pour olive oil in heated frying pan, add beans, lemon and garlic. Stir. Serve hot, garnish with chopped onions, tomatoes, mint and olive oil.

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