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Moroccan Bessara: a Fava Bean Soup or Dip

In Morocco Split Dried Fava Beans are used as the main ingredient of bessara, a spiced dish that can be served as a dip much like hummus or as a soup.

Bessara - or bisara - is a classic Moroccan dish which can be served as a dip or soup. Our recipe is based on one from Moroccan chef Alia (her website has an excellent video demonstration).

Serves: 8


  • 400g Hodmedod's Split Dried Fava Beans
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • To serve: Cumin, Paprika, Olive oil


  1. Place the fava beans and garlic in a large pan, and cover with 1.5 litres cold water. Cover the pan and cook on a medium high heat until they are soft enough to easily puree (about 40 minutes). Skim occasionally.
  2. Puree the beans and garlic, either by hand or in a food processor, according to your preferred texture. Stir in the olive oil, spices and lemon juice. The consistency can be adjusted: for a thinner soup, mix in more hot water; for a thicker dip, boil the beans with less water.
  3. Serve the bessara hot, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with cumin and paprika.

Josiah Meldrum
Josiah Meldrum


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