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Moroccan Fava Bean (Broad Bean) Dip Recipe - Bessara

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)



Bessara - Moroccan Fava Bean Dip with fava beans.

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Dried fava beans (ful in Arabic), garlic, lemon juice and olive oil are used to make a tangy Moroccan dip called bessara. Hummus lovers will like this!

Although similar to hummus, bessara should be a bit thinner – thin enough to pour from the food processor, but thick enough to scoop up with bread. Adjust the thickness to your own preference.

Traditionally bessara is served warm in a heated dish. It may also be thinned enough to eat as a soup. Garnish with any of the suggestions below.

The dried beans need to soak overnight in a large bowlful of water.

Also see Split Pea Bessara.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as side dish.


  • 1 1/2 cups (about 8 oz. or 200 g) dried fava beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne pepper
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • additional cumin, paprika and olive oil, for garnish
  • chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)


Soak the dried fava beans overnight in a large bowlful of water. The next day, drain the beans and peel them if they weren't already skinned and split.

Place the peeled fava beans in a pot and cover with a generous amount of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-high, and simmer the beans until tender, one hour or longer.

Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.

Transfer the beans to a food processor, and add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, and spices. Process on high speed until smooth, adding additional liquid if necessary to thin the bessara. It should be thin enough to pour or spread out on a plate. Taste the bessara, and adjust the seasoning if desired.

Reheat the bessara and serve warm. Garnish with any of the following: ground cumin, paprika, hot paprika, olive oil, and chopped parsley.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Better than Hummus, Member 1Nutmegger

A fuller, more interesting flavor than Hummus. We used frozen Fava and cut the cooking time to about 20 minutes. Served it as an appetizer cold with pita . Great success!

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

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