Egyptian fava beans and herbs dip (Egyptian Bessara) #Arabic_flavor

Bessara- fava bean dip

It is the 25th of the month which means it is time for our #Arabic_flavor reveal.

For the month of August, our host Rehab Elbarody took us on a trip to Egypt. She chose to share her family’s recipe for Bessara, a fava bean dip rooted in Egyptian history.  According to Rehab, bessara dates back to the pharaonic era! (which makes it a recipe that is thousands of years old !).The word Beesara is derived from Hieroglyphic Bees-oro  (bees- which means cooked) and (oro which means beans).

Bessara  is made with simple, cheap ingredients: fava beans, onions, garlic and lots of fresh herbs which give bessara its unique green color. The fact that these simple ingredients can give you a meal that packs a real nutritional punch made bessara popular.

This was actually my first time trying bessara and I have to say that it was a pleasant surprise!  Refreshingly green, creamy, with layers of flavor from the  spices and herbs, beautifully rounded by the caramelized onions. If you love hummus, do give bessara a try, it is plays along the same notes but with a more complex and layered flavor profile.

Fava beans and herbs dip

Egyptian Bessara

500 grams split fava beans (soaked in water overnight)

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves of garlic

1 bunch fresh parsley chopped (1 cup)

1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped (1 cup)

1 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

For the onion topping

1 medium onion cut into strips

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground caraway

1 teaspoon dried coriander

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil

Egyptian bessara

  1. Soak the fava beans in clean water for 8 hours or over night , rinse and discard the water
  2. Place the soaked beans in a large pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a simmer, when froth appears on the surface, drain the beans and add new water to cover the beans, bring back to a simmer
  4. After simmering for 25 minutes, add the herbs and onion and garlic and let the beans simmer some more until they are completely soft .
  5.  Drain, reserving some of the water
  6. Transfer the beans to the bowl of a food processor and purée;add a little of the water you reserved if you need it to help the mix puree
  7. Place the puree beans back in the pot and add the salt and pepper and cook on medium low heat until the consistency thickens (it should be thick enough to allow you to scoop it with bread)
  8. Using a piston and mortar, grind the garlic with the caraway, black pepper and coriander
  9. Heat the oil or ghee in a skillet and fry the onion rings until golden (over medium-low heat).
  10. Add the garlic and spices and fry for a couple of minutes
  11. Remove and drain over paper towels, reserve the oil
  12. Add the oil to the thickened beans
  13. Transfer to a serving platter; garnish the surface with the fried onions and serve at room temperature with bread, green onions, pickles or olives

Broad bean dip

المقادير :
1/2 كيلو فول مدشوش
بصلة كبيرة
5 فصوص ثوم
باقة كبيرة بقدونس
باقة كبيرة كزبرة
ملح وفلفل وشطة
بصلة صغيرة مفرومة ناعم
2 فص ثوم
ملعقة صغيرة كراوية (سر الطبخة من عائلة البارودى )
نصف ملعقة فلفل اسود
ملعقة صغيرة كسبرة جافة
3 ملعقة كبيرة سمن بلدى
الطريقة :
ننقع الفول المدشوش 8 ساعات فى ماء نظيف ثم نشطفه جيدا .
نغطى الفول بماء نظيف ثم نرفعه على النار حتى يغلى وتظهر الرغوة على السطح فنصفى الماء ونعيد الفول مرة اخرى على النار بعد تغطيته بماء نظيف مرة اخرى .
نلقى فى ماء السلق مع الفول,البصلة والبقدونس والكزبرة المقطع ونتركهم حتى تمام النضج .
يصفى الخليط مع مراعاه ترك كمية بسيطة من الماء به .
يهرس فى الفود بروسيسور ثم يعاد مرة اخرى للنار مع تتبيله بالملح والفلفل والشطة ومع مراعاة تهدئة النار حتى تتكاثف الطبخة .
للتقلية :

ندق الثوم مع توابل التقلية جيدا حتى تتصاعد الرائحة العطرية للتوابل

نسيح السمن ونضيف له البصلة حتى يصفر لونها ويشف .
نضيف الثوم والتوابل للبصلة حتى تتحمر .
نصفى السمن ونضيفه للبصارة ونحتفظ بالتقلية لتجميل الوجه

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  1. RobynNZ

     /  August 26, 2014

    I’ve never found dried fava beans here, though grow them fresh and can buy them frozen. (conversely the only source of chickpeas is dry ones) Can’t see why fresh beans would be different from rehydrated ones, but as I have never used fresh chickpeas either, not sure if there’s an attribute dried beans brings…… I suppose I should just try your recipe with fresh beans and enjoy it, even it is not ‘authentic’! End of winter here so in a couple of months I’ll have fresh beans in the garden. Bookmarking!

  2. Eha

     /  August 26, 2014

    Sawsan: so lovely to see a blog from you!! Ignorant tho’ I am, I do hope you have settled into the UAE and are happy!!! I love this, cook it often, omit the caraway to add turmeric and call it ‘hommus’ :) ! Delightfully Middle-East!! best wishes . . .

  3. G’day! This looks and sounds terrific Sawsan!
    Your photos are always amazing and inspiring! great recipe!
    Cheers! Joanne

  4. Looks so good, thanks for sharing!

  5. This looks delicious.
    And your post is very timely for me as I just bought some favs beans and was wondering what new things I could make with them. I’ll give this a go!

  6. I do love humus, so I’ll be happy to try bessara as well.

  7. That does look and sound delicious. I’ve not had fava beans before, I must give this recipe a try.

  8. What a beautiful summery colour for this dip :D
    Love fava beans as well, wish I ate them more often!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Hearty, healthy and flavourful. Great dish.

  10. This looks great! We have fava beans at my Whole Foods store but I didn’t know what to do with them. Now I’ll try this! Thanks for sharing!

  11. This looks fantastic!!!

  12. I had this when I was in Singapore at a Egyptian restaurant! I have to try this! Yum :-)

  13. Love the Arabic flavors. We had favs beans dip in Santorini, Greece an loved it but never tried making t home. I’ll give your recipe a try. Thank you!

  14. frankieandgiuseppe

     /  August 27, 2014

    This recipe is so many levels of awesome! Thanks.

  15. Beautiful – we eat a lot of these beans in Spain so will be giving this a go! Hope life is going well for you and your family.

  16. Yummy dip! Really great with Arabic bread! Lovely photos, Sawsan!

  17. Fava Beans are my absolute favourite. I’ve wanted to make Bassara for so long and now it seems i have the perfect recipe. Thank you so much xx

  18. I’m Big fan of your decorating Style with Recipes amazing and awesome Fully family Blog thank you so much i m here see your recipes…

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

     /  August 28, 2014

    Your recipes never fail to inspired me, Sawsan. This one is no exception.

  20. Anonymous

     /  September 2, 2014

    teslam elayady msa

  21. SaraRaz

     /  November 10, 2014

    …Just made this today! I ended up blending the caramelized onions in with the dip so I can eat it on the go, and that was yummy too (although I won’t get the crunchy texture on top, maybe I will add nuts or something). Thank you so much for this recipe Sawsan. As usual, your instructions helped it to turn out flawless :)

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