Served warm as part of a mezze selection, bissara is a delicious and mellow dip. With its simple but effective spicing it is a low-cost, high-protein comfort food – and it’s easy to make too. The recipe uses dried, split fava beans (broad beans), which are yellow; dried whole fava beans still have their skins on and are browny-green.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (70 votes)


  • 2 cups dried split fava beans (broad beans), soaked overnight 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra,for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp ground cumin, plus extra, for sprinklinng
  • 1.5 litres water
  • salt and pepper
  • sweet paprika
  • 1 black olive

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 3–4 cups

You'll need to start this recipe 1 day ahead. 

Drain the beans and pick out any discoloured ones.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic until fragrant. Stir in 3 tsp cumin then add the beans and water. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans have absorbed all the water and have broken down to a smooth, velvety puree, like thick soup. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with paprika and extra cumin. Place an olive in the centre and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve with flatbread.