Bissara

By Amr Elimam
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YIELDS
1 CUP

Ingredients

Caramelized onions:

  • 1-2 large cooking onions-thinly sliced
  • Olive oil, enough to sauté onions

Bissara base:

  • 500 grams (or 1 lb) shelled fava beans-washed
  • 4-1/2 cups water
  • 1 large cooking onion-coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander-washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 10 leaves fesh mint

Taaleya:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Garnish:

  • Lime wedges
  • Finley chopped hot peppers (Jalapeno or favorite…)
  • High quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Egyptian Baladi bread or pita

Directions

Caramelized onion:

  1. Sauté onions on medium high in olive oil stirring often especially when the onions start to caramelize.
  2. Remove onions using slotted spoon as soon they become golden brown, and immediately spread out in an even layer on a paper towel.
  3. Onions will continue to deepen in colour when removed from olive oil. Do not over fry.
  4. Reserve left over olive oil. It will be deeply flavoured and can be used in next steps or for other dishes or dressings.
  5. Reserve frying pan for the Taaleya below.

Bissara base:

  1. Place fava beans in a large cooking pot and cover with water.
  2. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin.
  3. Bring to a boil and let simmer.
  4. Sparingly add more boiling water if the level of the beans rises too much above the water.
  5. Continue to boil until beans are completely tender 30-60 minutes.
  6. Add fresh coriander and mint and stir once into bean mix.
  7. Remove from heat.

Taaleya:

  1. In the frying pan, heat olive oil on medium high.
  2. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add dry coriander seeds and sauté very briefly-less than a minute.
  4. Add the vinegar then immediately add the taaleya to the Bissara base.

Puree the bissara:

  1. Let the Bissara cool until it is safe to handle but do not let it cool down completely.
  2. Puree in a blender or using a hand blender until smooth. It is not safe to put hot liquids in a blender.
  3. Empty in a serving dish or into individual portion moulds.
  4. Let it cool down completely or refrigerate until it sets.

Serve:

  1. Sprinkle caramelized onions on top.
  2. Serve with side garnish of lime wedges, chopped hot peppers and olive oil.
  3. Serve with warm Egyptian Baladi or Pita Bread.

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