This North African bean dish is very popular in Egypt where it is served with flat bread and fresh vegetable sticks. Fava beans are also know as broad beans.

This North African bean dish is very popular in Egypt where it is served with flat bread and fresh vegetable sticks. Fava beans are also know as broad beans.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) large dried broad beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 Litres (3 1/2 pt) water
  • 1 small green chili, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • paprika
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Directions

  1. Place the broad beans, garlic, half the olive oil and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover, then cook over medium heat until the beans are tender – 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on size and freshness of beans.
  3. Drain and cool, reserving about 375 ml (12 fl oz) of the cooking liquid.
  4. Place the beans and the green chili in a food processor/blender with 250 ml (8 fl oz) of the reserved liquor.
  5. Blend until smooth, adding more of the liquid if necessary to achieve a firm but soft puree.
  6. Return the puree to a clean saucepan and stir in the lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring.
  8. Transfer the bissara to a serving bowl.
  9. Drissle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with paprika to taste and garnish with parsley.
  10. Serve at room temperature with flat bread and vegetable stocks if desired.

Variations

Bissara With Grilled Courgette:

  1. Prepare the basic recipe and spread it onto a platter.
  2. Slice 2 courgette lengthwise and lay on a baking tray. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.
  3. Put under a hot grill until just beginning to char around the edges.
  4. Alternatively, cook the courgette on a grill.
  5. Place the courgette slices over the bissara.

Pinto Bean Puree:

  1. Prepare the basic recipe, using pinto beans in place of broad beans.
  2. White Beans and Garlic Puree:
  3. Prepare the basic recipe, using haricot beans in place of broad beans and adding 1 or 2 more garlic cloves.

Fresh Broad Bean Bissara:

  1. Prepare the basic recipe, using 1 kg (2 1/4 lb) fresh broad beans in place of the dried broad beans.
  2. To cook, remove the beans, from their pods and cook in boiling water for 10 minutes, until tender; drain and refresh with cold water.
  3. Remove the skins from the beans to reveal the bright green beans inside.
  4. Continue as for the basic recipe.
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