Bessara bean mix

Bessara or Bissara is an Egyptian vegan recipe using beans, onion, garlic and fresh herbs. It can be made thinner like a soup or thicker like a dip, but is filling enough to make a meal.

Preparation time:10 minutes


Cooking time:Up to 80 minutes (but much less if using frozen or tinned beans)

  • Ingredients
    • 200g fava beans or broad beans
    • 2 cloves garlic, or to taste
    • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
    • 4 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1.5 tsp salt, more to taste
    • 1 tsp ground cumin, more to taste
    • 0.5 tsp sweet paprika,more to taste
    • 0.5 tsp hot paprika (optional if avoiding chilli)
    • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Method
    1. If using dried beans, presoak overnight, or use frozen broad beans for ease.
    2. In a deep pot, add the drained beans, onion, garlic and fresh herbs.
    3. Add the cumin, dry mint and salt. Pour in water to cover.
    4. Bring everything to a boil then simmer and stir occasionally. If needed, add more water, half a cup at a time.
    5. Keep cooking until the beans are very tender.
    6. Blend until very smooth then pour back into the pot and boil again.
    7. Add more salt, cumin and black pepper to taste.
    8. Serve hot or cold.
    9. Depending on your needs you can eat Bessara on its own, or serve with soft bread and chopped parsley.