Chef Mohsen Gaber Ibrahim of Aziza serves up fresh, homemade Egyptian and Mediterranean dishes at his popular restaurants in Kennedy Town and Shek Tong Tsui.
The chef’s recipe for besara is similar to hummus but is made with broad beans. It’s healthy, vegan, uses easily sourced ingredients and is a definite crowd-pleaser.
- 200g dried broad beans
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2+ tbsp reserved bean cooking liquid
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp hot paprika (or cayenne pepper)
- chopped fresh dill, to garnish
- Chinese chives, to garnish
- Ahead of time, place the dried broad beans in a large bowl and cover with a generous amount of cold water. Set aside to soak all day or overnight.
- Drain the soaked beans and peel using your hands. Transfer the peeled beans to a medium-sized pot and cover with a generous amount of water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beans until tender, 1 hour or longer.
- Drain the cooked beans, reserving the liquid. Transfer the drained beans to a food processor and add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, 2 or more tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid and the spices. Process until smooth, adding additional liquid if necessary to thin it. The besara can also be diluted with vegetable stock to make a hearty soup, but for a dip, it should only just be thin enough to pour slowly. Taste the besara and adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Garnish with more sea salt and olive oil and some chopped fresh dill and Chinese chives.
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