Bissara – a Simple and Healthy Dip!

Packed with nutrients and perfect for the colder months!

When the freezing weather hits, we call for the cozy North African dish! Bissara is a simple, healthy dip prepared with dried, cooked, pureed split Fava beans. It’s incredibly packed with nutrients and makes a healthy treat for the colder months!

Bissara Background and Benefits

It is believed that the Fava beans originated in the Mediterranean region some 6000 years B.C. It has been found in ancient Egyptian rulers’ tombs, and people have been cultivating it as a food source for both food and animals.

About half a century ago, Bissara used to be considered a poor man’s dish in North Africa because of the cost benefits. However, this has changed recently as the beans’ nutritional benefits came to light. This magical bean enhances the immune system and is loaded with plant protein, folate, and several other vitamins and minerals that help digestion, anemia, and healthy fetal development for pregnant ladies.

Bissara Versions

Although this dish is served in Morocco, Egypt, and some parts of the Middle East, Bissara recipes vary in each country. Sometimes, split green peas are substituted for dried fava beans. In Egypt, for instance, more spices, herbs, and leafy greens are used to make this dish.

In Morocco, Bissara’s recipes vary in each region as well! My mom’s recipe is inspired by the Northern style, which is especially more popular (Tetouan, Tangier, and Chefchaouen). The recipe is easy, simple, and quick to prepare. It’s convenient to satisfy different tastes: instead of adding seasoning to the dish while still cooking, other spices are put on the side to sprinkle to taste: paprika, oregano, thyme, cumin, red hot chili peppers, hot cayenne pepper, etc. 

Serving a Healthy Dip

In Tetouan, Bissara is usually served with Moroccan bread, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few fresh slices of red onions. I love sprinkling paprika and cumin and pairing them with mint tea. You may omit the spices or use your favorite seasonings and bread—they all taste great. Cheers to all vegans, all homesick folks, and all the Bissara lovers out there! Bessaha!

Petit Apron bissara dip

Moroccan Bissara Dip

Laila Benjelloun Bailey
Bissara is a healthy North African dip prepared with dried, cooked, pureed split Fava beans. It is incredibly packed with nutrients and makes a healthy treat for the colder months!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Moroccan, North African
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup Split Fava beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cups water (may need more)

Garnishing Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • spices to taste (I use paprika and cumin)
  • a few slices of fresh red onions (optional)


  • In a large pot, mix the fava beans with salt. Next, add 3 cups of water and cook on medium heat for 15 min. There's no need to soak the beans beforehand.
  • White foam will start to form while the beans are cooking. Remove the foam as it appears.
  • Add three more cups of water and cook another 15 min, removing the foam as needed. The beans are finished cooking when they become soft. Add water if required. Cooking time may vary.
  • Let beans cool for 5-10 min before transferring them to a blender. Puré your beans until you get a smooth texture. You may add water to reach your desired consistency—careful not to add too much, or it will be runny.


  • Sprinkle some paprika, cumin, or your favorite spice on top.
  • Serve Bissara with Moroccan bread, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few fresh slices of red onions.
  • Enjoy with a cup of fresh mint tea!
Keyword bean dip, bessara, bissara, fava bean dip, healthy dip, moroccan bissara, moroccan dip recipe, vegan dip, vegetarian dip

Pair it with Moroccan Bread and make it a hit dish!
Moroccan Bread – Khobz Smida
Moroccan Semolina bread, or Khobz Smida, is a traditional bread in Morocco. This is the only bread recipe you will ever need! It's so soft and fluffy you want to pair it with everything!
Check out this recipe
Moroccan Bread

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