A few days ago I was watching one of my favourite shows on TV ‘Food Safari’. It’s a series of episodes that takes you all around the world with food from different cuisines, and then leaves you with nothing but a hungry belly and a giant bomb of inspiration. I love it!
This specific episode was about the Moroccan cuisine, every single dish looked absolutely delicious! Moroccan food is very similar to Egyptian’s, they both share this incredible diversity as a result of the interaction with other cultures and nations over the centuries.
They have Similar spices, ingredients and style of eating. One thing I didn’t know about Moroccans though, is that they have their own version of ‘Besara’; a very old and authentic vegetarian dish in Egyptian cuisine made out of skinned and split fava beans, garlic, herbs and cumin.
This is by far the best dish my mum makes, and after watching the Moroccans do it their way, I headed to my kitchen and started cooking it my mama’s way because it is the best!
Scroll down to the recipe, make it and share the love.
500 g split skinned beans soaked for at least 3 hours or overnight if you can (found in oriental/middle-eastern stores)
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2-1 teaspoon ground coriander
1.5 litres of boiled water
1 bunch fresh dill leaves
1 bunch fresh coriander leaves plus stems
handful fresh parsley leaves
fine sea salt and white pepper to taste
1 large onion, sliced thinly
extra olive oil for shallow frying
1. Rinse the fava beans and drain.
2. In a medium sized pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic over low- medium heat until it starts sizzling.
3. Add cumin and coriander and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant
4. Add the drained beans and stir for 1 min
5. Add 1.5 litres of filtered boiling water or enough water to rise about 1 cm above the beans level in the pot.
6. Add about 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt and a pinch of white pepper. adjust later.
7. Bring the water to boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 mins stirring from time to time.
8. Meanwhile, blend the herbs in a small blender on high speed.
9.After 15-20 mins of simmering add the blended green herbs to the pot, stir and simmer for 20 more mins or until the beans dissolves and the mixture starts to thicken, stirring from time to time then turn the heat off. and leave to cool down
10.Taste and adjust the salt.
11. Shallow fry the sliced onions in a small pan until darkens in colour (golden brown), be aware that colour changes quite rapidly.
12. drain on paper napkins to remove excess oil.
13. Add 2-3 tablespoons of frying oil to the beans in the pot (mama’s secret) and stir.
15.Blend the beans mixture in a blender (or use a hand blender in the pot) until very smooth and creamy.
16. Pour the warm mixture into a deep serving plate to set.
17. When ready to serve, add the fried onions on top and serve with traditional pita bread.
Preparation time: 15mins plus at least 3 hours soaking the beans Cooking time: 50 min
Serves : 4-6 as a mezza
Notes: This Mezza can be served warm or cold as a mezza/ dip/ starter