Recipe of the Week: Moroccan Bessara
Good afternoon friends!
Okay, so this might come like a shock for those of you who knows me, but yeah, I have been starting to learn how to cook...! My entire life I have been fortunate enough to eat my parents divine tasting food, or at my family's hotels or at restaurants. Every day. I really love food and fine dining as well as fast food, but my interest in cooking have never ever existed. Well, I guess this makes me super grown up now ;) So, when I first arrived here to Morocco, one of the first dishes I was served was 'bessara'. It's kind of like 'hummus', but this you eat warm. It's more like a soup, but depending on what you want it can also be served just as a dip. It's really delicious, and so easy to do! I mean, if I can do it, everyone can do it. Bessara is made of beans, dried split peas or dried fava beans, and you season it with some garlic, olive oil, cumin, paprika and lemon juice. As condiments you can use olive oils, paprika powder, chopped parsley and cumin.I prefer to serve the bessara in bowls, but you can also use bigger plates to let everyone around the dinner table eat from it directly, with the help of the bread.
If someone should not like cumin, parsley or in my case, lemon juice, you can just have these condiments available on the side. Bessara is traditionally eaten for breakfast or in the evening, me I prefer to serve it to dinner or as a side dish to a heavier meal.
It's important that you put the dried fava beans in water during the night, really allowing them to soak in the water.
Preparations: 10 min
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Portions: 4 persons
- 200 gram dried fava beans
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1,5 dl olive oil
- 0,5 dl lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid
- 1,5 teaspoon of salt
- 0,5 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 0,5 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- some chopped parsley for garnishing
How to do:
1. Begin ahead of time, the night before the actual cooking, to place the dried fava beans in a bowl and cover it with an enormously amount of COLD water. Let it soak over the night, or the whole day - preferable 5-7 hours.
2. When you're ready to cook, drain the beans from all the water and you might have to peel them if they weren't already split and skinned.
3. Place the now peeled fava beans in a medium-sized pot and make sure to cover it with a generous amount of water. Boil it on high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium and let the beans simmer until they're tender, approximately one and a half hour.
4. Now drain the beans, and reserve the liquid.
5. Put the beans in to a food processor or a mixer, add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of the reserved liquid and cayenne pepper, paprika powder and cumin. Mix it on high speed until it's smooth like a purée, add some more reserved liquid if you want the bessara a bit more thin. Depending on if you prefer the bessara as a more soup-like dish, add even more liquid.
6. Taste the bessara and adjust the seasoning as desired. Reheat the bessara in the pot and serve it warm in a preheated bowl
Garnish the bessara with cumin, paprika powder, salt, pepper, olive oil and some chopped parsley. Drop a few drops of lemon juice. Serve it with a nice bread, enjoy your Moroccan Bessara!