A bowl full of Sudanese ful medames with tomatoes, arugula, tomatoes andn onions on top.
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Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)

A delicious vegetarian recipe dating back to the Pharohs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Egyptian, Sudanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
soaking time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 155 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Fava Bean Dry
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin or to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 cup Arugula baby
  • 4 large hard-boiled eggs optional
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the dry fava beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain

  2. In a large pot, add in the soaked fava beans and cover with water.

  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft

  4. Put your fava beans into a bowl along with some broth.

  5. Mash the beans using a potato masher or you could use a coke bottle like they do in Sudan.

  6. Add in the salt and cumin to taste.

  7. Put the beans in your serving bowl and top with some of the tomatoes, cheese, arugula, and onions, top with sesame oil and serve with some warm flat bread.

  8. You can serve the left over toppings so people can add more of what they like including the hard-boiled eggs if using. We also served it with Sudanese shata, a hot sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 723mg31%
Potassium 262mg7%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 498IU10%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)

Sudanese shata is a popular hot sauce that is used on many dishes in Sudan and South Sudan to spice things up a bit.  We used it on ful medames which is a delicious fava bean vegetarian dish that is considered to be the national dish.  The ful medames is served with several accompaniments and the Sudanese shata was that we really enjoyed.

a container with a popular hot sauce in Sudan called shata it has hot chili flakes, garlic and lemons.

This Sudanese shata hot sauce is made with spicy red pepper flakes, lemon juice, garlic with a bit of salt and pepper.  A quick and easy sauce to put together.  It certainly would be good on all sorts of dishes that need a bit of zip to liven them up with practically no calories.

Did you know that South Sudan is the newest country in the world?  They received their Independence in July 2011 after years of civil war.  Both Sudan and South Sudan have very impoverished people and have much work to do for peace in both nations. Sudan prior to the split was the largest country in Africa and since the split is the 3rd largest.  We pray for the people of both nations.

If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”.  There you will find more authentic Sudanese recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip , ful Medames, and Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
a container with a popular hot sauce in Sudan called shata it has hot chili flakes, garlic and lemons.
5 from 1 vote
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Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)

A super quick and easy hot sauce that would be perfect to liven up just about any dish.

Course Sauce
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 17 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper hot
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend or whisk together.

  2. Serve in a containter so it can easily be poured on the dish.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 17 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 340mg15%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 890IU18%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

Sudanese peanut macaroons are called ful Sudani. They are really quick and easy to make. We enjoyed them alongside Sudanese cinnamon tea. Peanuts are a staple ingredient in both Sudan and South Sudan.  Did you know that peanuts are not a nut but actually a legume?  Many people are surprised by that fact. They are called ground nuts in Sudan. 

A plate full of Sudanese peanut Macaroons

These little light bites are more like a peanut meringue than a macaroon you may be familiar with from France.  We loved them!

Sudan used to be one of the world’s top exporters of peanuts but its ranking has fallen in recent years, Traditional small-scale farming in Sudan’s western states produces 70% of the country’s groundnut supply. Since peanuts depend on rainfall to survive, devastating droughts in these regions have significantly affected the farmers abilities to produce high yields.

The government has high hopes for a new variety of peanut that has been developed that supposedly is more drought resistant with higher yields it is called Tafra-1.  We can only hope that this works as 70 percent of the labor force works in agriculture and the groundnuts are a source of protein in Sudanese cuisine. 

If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”.  There you will find more authentic Sudanese recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip and ful Medames.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.
5 from 1 vote
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Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

A wonderful quick and easy recipe from Sudan.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 91 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peanuts roasted and unsalted
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F

  2. Grind the unsalted, roasted peanuts to small bits reaching a grainy texture but not a powder. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff

  4. Add in the powder sugar a little at a time using a low speed until fully incorporated.

  5. Add in the vanilla extract and the peanuts, stir to combine

  6. Place parchment paper on a backing sheet and place about 1 tablespoon size spoonfuls of the dough, leaving a room between each one.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes, watch closely, they should be lightly colored but not browned.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 
 
 

 

A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.
5 from 1 vote
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Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

A wonderful quick and easy recipe from Sudan.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 91 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peanuts roasted and unsalted
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F

  2. Grind the unsalted, roasted peanuts to small bits reaching a grainy texture but not a powder. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff

  4. Add in the powder sugar a little at a time using a low speed until fully incorporated.

  5. Add in the vanilla extract and the peanuts, stir to combine

  6. Place parchment paper on a backing sheet and place about 1 tablespoon size spoonfuls of the dough, leaving a room between each one.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes, watch closely, they should be lightly colored but not browned.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)

Sudanese cinnamon tea called shai, went perfectly with the little light Sudanese peanut macaroons called ful sudani.    Tea and coffee and both very popular in both Sudan’s.  When tea drinking does not happen in one’s home, it is very common to find tea ladies called sitashai,  set up on street corners.  They will quite often remain in the same spot for many hours throughout the day.  Customers sit around on simple metal stools bound with colorful string, and socialize.  

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugarThis tea is really easy to make, it would typically be made with a simple black tea and then steeped with the cinnamon sticks.  The tea could also be flavored with mint or ginger which is also very popular and authentic. Make sure to have it with sugar, one thing is certain, no matter which flavor, they like it sweet.  We enjoyed the tea with the light Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Sudan was colonized by both Egypt and Britain, certainly the tea culture comes from the English.  January 1st is the day that the Sudanese celebrate National Day, the day they got their Independence back in 1956. Although much has transpired since then.  If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”,  there you will also find more authentic recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip and ful medames

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugar
5 from 1 vote
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Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)

A wonderful way to enjoy a cup of tea.

Course Drinks
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 55 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp black tea leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with 2 cinnamon sticks

  2. When boiling, pour over the tea leaves or bags

  3. Let steep until desired flavor

  4. Add sugar as desired

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 13mg1%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan

How did Sudan and South Sudan get their names?

The name Sudan comes from Arabic, “Bilad as Sudan” or “Land of the Blacks.”  This name refers to the area south of the Sahara.  South Sudan was named when it became independent of Sudan on July 9, 2011.  It is officially the Republic of South Sudan.  South Sudan is the most newly recognized nation in the world, and joined the United Nations just a few days after Independence, on July 14, 2011.

Where are Sudan and South Sudan located?

Sudan is located in east, Central Africa.  It has many neighbors and borders:  Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest.  The Nile River is the dominant geographic feature of Sudan.

South Sudan is a landlocked country, also with many neighbors:  Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Central African Republic to the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, Uganda to the south and Kenya to the southeast.

Prior to the split of the two countries, Sudan was the largest country in Africa and in the Arab world.

A Brief History of Sudan and South Sudan

The earliest civilizations began in Sudan along the Nile, which grew into the Kingdom of Kush during the eighth century B.C..  Kush conquered Egypt and adopted many facets of Egyptian culture.  Sudan actually has more pyramids than Egypt in the area of Meroe.  The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The region converted to Christianity in the sixth century A.D., and then to Islam in the 14th century.  Egypt conquered Sudan in the 1820s, turning the country into a slave market.  It administered Sudan jointly with Britain who was keen to control the area around the newly built Suez Canal. 

For a time the Sudanese Mahdist armies managed to kick out Egyptian and British forces holding the capital city of Khartoum, until the British re-conquered the territory in 1898.  By the mid-20th century, the Sudanese wanted independence, which was granted in 1956. 

Resenting the political domination of the north, the mostly Christian and animist southerners launched a fight against the Khartoum government.  This was the trigger for a civil war conflict that raged on and off for more than 50 years and claimed an estimated two million Sudanese lives.

President Nimeiri ended the first civil war in 1972, granting the south considerable autonomy.  His plans to bring back the economy went bad and after pressure from the north, they rescinded the autonomy agreement with the south.  Civil war returned, along with an army coup.  These cycles of wars and coups have shaped much of Sudan’s post-independence history. 

In 1989, General Omar al-Bashir seized power.  He introduced hard line Islamic views, although Sharia (Islamic canonical law) was already instituted in 1980.  It wasn’t until the change of geopolitics, brought about by 911, that Sudan started to shift from its Islamist position.  Sudan saw prosperity from its new oilfields and sought peace with the south, which became independent in July 2011, although clashes continue.  The South fared far worse since Independence, as there has been a constant battle for power between the tribes of this new nation.

As if this were not enough pain for both of these countries, a struggle for resources in Darfur sprang into a full rebellion.  The repression from Bashir led the president to become the first head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.  He was finally overthrown in April 2019 by a military coup.  Although there is now some hope for a new leader in a pro-democracy movement, it remains to be seen how it will shake out.  The military are currently running the country, and there will, no doubt, be a new power struggle in their future.

Sudanese Culture

Sudan has a population of about 45 million people.  About 70 percent of the population is Sudanese Arab, with the balance being black ethnic groups like: Fur, Beja, Nuba and Fallata, to name a few.

The population of South Sudan is about 11 million and home to about 60 indigenous ethnic groups. The largest is the Dinka people, followed by the Neur and the Shiluk.

In Sudan, Arabic and English are the official languages.  In Sudan however, many indigenous languages are spoken.  In South Sudan, English is the official language however, most speak their indigenous languages as well.

In Sudan, Sunni Muslim is the main religion in the country. The country goes by Sharia law.  There are still indigenous tribes who practice animism, (a belief that all objects, such as trees and rivers, have a spirit.)  There is also a very small Christian minority left in Sudan.  Most Christians have since fled to the south.  The religious makeup in South Sudan is 60 percent Christian, 33 percent African religion (animism) and seven percent Islam.

In Sudan only about 30 percent of the population live in the urban areas; most are nomadic or live rural.  South Sudan is even less urban, at about 20 percent.  In Sudan, some 80 percent of the labor force works in agriculture.  Cotton is Sudan’s primary export, although the crop is vulnerable to drought.  Livestock, sesame, groundnuts, oil and gum Arabic are other important exports.  The country is poor and half of the population lives in poverty. 

In South Sudan the main export is petroleum followed by foraged corps and raw cotton, gold and dried legumes.  South Sudan is even poorer than its northern counterpart, with 80 percent living on less than $1 a day.  It is one of the most impoverished countries in the world.  Constant war has taken its toll on both of these nations.

Sudanese Cuisine

Sudan and South Sudan share many common dishes.  Sudanese food is inspired by colonial rule.  The most important ingredient in the cuisine is porridge, called dura, a starch, typically made from millet, wheat or corn.  The cuisine is also regional with fish being popular along the Nile.  In Sudan, lamb, chicken and beef are the most prevalent meats.  Being a strict Islamic state, pork and alcohol are strictly forbidden.

Typically, Sudanese food is meat heavy, interspersed with vegetables.  Stews, called mullah, are very popular.  Peanuts or ground nuts are also prevalent in Sudanese dishes. Ful Medames is a popular dish made of beans, usually fava beans and some consider it to be the national dish.  On a very sad note, there is a dish called Bush, a poor man’s ful, which is served using the bean water left in the gidra (the pot the beans are cooked in) and sopped up with onions and bread.  It gets its name from the first Bush president who cut aid to Sudan in the early 1990s in response to the Sudanese government’s support of Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.  Falafels, made from chickpeas are a popular street snack but not served with the normal accompaniments that you might expect.  Generally speaking, the dishes do not use too many spices or seasonings, but they do like to add dried fruits, especially apricots.

So let’s enjoy a Sudanese Meal:

 

The Menu

Appetizer

Salata Aswad be Zabadi (Eggplant Dip)

A platefu of eggplant dip garnished with cilantro and flat bread in the background.

Main Course

Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)

Served with

Shata (Spicy Sauce)

A little dish filled with shata a spicy hot sauce from Sudan that has hot pepper, lemons and garlic in the mix.

Dessert

Ful Sudani (Peanut Macaroons)

A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Served with

Shai (Sudanese Cinnamon Tea)

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugar

For our Sudanese meal we began with a handwashing.  We would eat sitting on the floor with a communal dish and use only our right hand, as would be customary in both Sudan countries.  Flat bread was a big help in scooping up the food. 

Our first dish was a delicious, fried eggplant dip, made with yogurt and peanut butter and tomatoes.  We absolutely loved the combination of flavors.  Typically, this would be served with fermented sorghum flat bread called, kisra.  I tried to make it but it was a failure, so naan would have to be my substitute.

For the main course, we thoroughly enjoyed the national dish called, Ful Medames.  This dish is very popular in many other countries as well.  It is a vegetarian, protein rich, dish that is garnished with onions, tomatoes, arugula, feta cheese, boiled eggs and sesame oil.  Honestly, this dish was perfectly delicious and filling.  It was served with a spicy hot sauce called shata, which is also very popular.

For dessert, little peanut meringue cookies were served that went perfectly with a cup of black tea, spiced up with cinnamon.  In Sudan, they love to enjoy their tea with lots of sugar.

As we say goodbye to the Sudans’, I must be honest and say that although we thoroughly enjoyed our International Cuisine meal, we did so with a heavy heart.  Both of these countries are in awful shape, with way too many of their people living in extreme poverty and war.  We ended our meal with a simple prayer for those people.

I leave you with a couple Sudanese proverbs:

“Empty stomachs have no ears.”

“No one likes to eat crumbs from a feast; everyone likes to sit at a table.”

“Better a meal of vegetables, where there is love than a fatted ox, where there is hatred.”

Until next time,

Warmest regards,

Darlene