Recipe: fava bean bessara

Use locally grown fava beans to make this classic Moroccan dip   

Bessara, Getty

Originating in the Middle East, the cultivated fava bean reached British tables in the Iron Age. Experience the delicious taste of this versatile ingredient with our fava bean bessara.

  • 400g split dried fava beans
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • To serve: cumin, paprika, olive oil
Fava bean harvesting takes place in the autumn © John Potter

1. Place the beans and garlic in a large pan, cover with 1.5 litres cold water and cook on a medium high heat for around 40 minutes until they are soft, skimming occasionally.

2. Puree the beans and garlic, either by hand or in a food processor. Stir in the olive oil, spices and lemon juice. Add a little water if required until the desired consistency.

3. Serve the bessara hot, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with cumin and paprika.

Fava beans originated in the Middle East ©Keiron Tovell

Main image ©Keiron Tovell