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Byessar (Moroccan Broad Bean Dip)

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“Did you know that for the ancient Egyptians, beans were seen as a symbol of reincarnation and that they represented the rebirth of spring each year? I found this fabulous recipe for a Moroccan broad bean dip in the first edition - September 2005 - of the new Australian magazine 'Notebook: ideas for living'. It was part of an article on peas and beans. The 'cooking time' specified below does not include the 20 minutes cooling time in the refrigerator, necessary for allowing the flavours to blend. When I made this, I used frozen broad beans, thawed; they were baby beans so they didn't need peeling; and I used cumin because I haven't yet tracked down any ras el hanout. I also used 4 cloves of garlic - which is what I've included here in the ingredients; the original recipe had 1 clove of garlic.”
2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Split the broad bean pods along the seams, remove the beans and discard the pods; cook the beans in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until just tender; drain; refresh in iced water; then drain again.
  2. Peel and discard the skins from the larger beans (leave the smaller ones unpeeled).
  3. Process the broad beans, preserved lemon, garlic, ras el hanout, oil and lemon juice for 1 minute. (Add a little water if the mixture is too thick).
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
  5. When ready to serve, stir in the coarsely cut coriander leaves, and serve as part of a mezze plate with Moroccan-style flat bread, black olives and Lebanese cucumber.
  6. Notes: Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend containing up to 20 different spices. It's available from Middle Eastern food stores, delicatessens or, for Australian members of Zaar, from Herbie's Spices (02)9555 6035, If you are unable to obtain ras el hanout, you can use ground cumin instead.

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