Bissara - Split Peas and Fava Beans Dip

Do you guys know bissara?

Bissara is a crisscross between a dip and a soup, I wasn’t sure if I should call it a soup or a dip. I ended up calling it a dip because we eat it exclusively with bread (and nothing else!), but anyway it doesn’t really matter, does it? Cause we’re all here after one specific thing: deliciousness. And this my friends, is deliciousness on a plate.

You can prepare it either with split peas or split fava beans. I like to use a mix of both but sometimes I just have to go with what is available at the grocery store! This time, I couldn’t find any split fava beans so I used only split peas. 

Bissara is the perfect winter fix remedy; it’s wholesome, healthy and comforting. We eat at any time of the day in Morocco even for breakfast! It's also one of those dishes that allow you to socialize over the same bowl of yumminess. I recommend enjoying it with plenty of olive oil, cumin, paprika and fresh chopped onions!

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Bissara – Split peas and fava beans dip

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

  • 400 gr dried split peas or fava beans (or a mix of both), soaked overnight
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon paprika and more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin and more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil and more for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped onions for garnish, if desired

METHOD

 Drain the peas and/or fava beans, run them through water and drain them again.

• Transfer the peas and/or fava beans in a large casserole and cover with 1 liter of water (the peas and/or fava beans should be completely covered with water).  Add the garlic cloves (unpeeled) and the baking soda.

Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes. to allow the peas and/or the fava beans to cook. 

• Remove the garlic cloves from the casserole, unpeel and mash them. Transfer the mashed garlic, paprika, cumin, salt and olive oil in the casserole. Cover with a lid and leave to continue simmering for another 20 minutes to allow the peas and/or fava beans to cook and soften. Stir occasionally. If you notice that at this stage the mixture is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water in the casserole.

• Once the peas and/or fava beans mixture is completely cooked and soft, run the mixture through a food processor (or pass the mixture through a sieve) to obtain a smooth result.

• Serve hot with bread in a shallow dish or a bowl with a generous coating of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika and cumin and some chopped onions if desired.