Moroccan Fava Bean Dip with Mint & Harissa (Bessara)

By Published On: February 5th, 2021

My take on the classic Moroccan Bessara fava bean dip features the deliciously spiced harissa paste & fresh mint. The results are a lively, fresh dip that’s perfect for dipping and scooping with flatbreads. Learn how to make it…

A bowl of Bessara scattered with vegetables, herbs and more

Bessara is a wonderful Moroccan dip, and often creamy soup. The main ingredient is one of my favourites - fava beans. I love how creamy fava/broad beans are and they make for the best ingredient to puree for a dip and create a lovely texture. My bessara recipe changes things up a little with the introduction of harissa chilli paste and fresh mint. The introduction of spice and fragrance are a breath of fresh air - mint and harissa work splendidly together and when combined with fava beans are a taste sensation!

This dip is so easy to put together at home and it's a visual delight, don't you agree? It's simply a case of blending all the ingredients together to form a thickish puree, like hummus. I always retain a little of the bean can liquid as it helps thin out the texture a little - you can also just use a little water or plain yoghurt too. I like a slowly pourable consistency if that makes sense?

It's all in the garnish!

Once you have the consistency right, it's a case of spreading the bessara on a platter and then garnishing. I love to top mine generously with whatever I have at hand. Onions are a favourite (which I marinate in lemon juice) along with lots of extra mint and some paprika for colour. A generous slug of extra virgin olive oil follows.

Some extra garnishes that I'll often add are chopped olives, some pinenuts, pistachios or almonds (fried in butter), chopped parsley, dill and sometimes finely chopped preserved lemon peel for a mellow zing of citrus.

I'll always serve this dip as a side-dish or mezze offering with LOTS of flatbreads or pita chips. Anything you can scoop up the dip with will work. It's a great dish to whip up in 15 minutes and one that without fail gets the most glowing comments at a dinner party.

More vegetarian recipes to serve alongside my Moroccan Fava Bean Dip

A bowl of Bessara scattered with vegetables, herbs and more

Moroccan Fava Bean Dip with Harissa & Mint (Bessara)

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5 from 2 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Moroccan
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 214




  • Place all ingredients into a food processor with about ½ cup of the fava bean liquid. Blend into a smooth paste.
  • Toss the red onion with the lemon juice and set aside.
    Spead out the dip on a platter or shallow bowl then scatter over the onion. Sprinkle with mint, black pepper, paprika and black pepper. Finally, drizzle over more extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve with breads to dip and scoop.


Calories: 214kcal (11%) | Carbohydrates: 8g (3%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 21g (32%) | Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) | Sodium: 105mg (5%) | Potassium: 153mg (4%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 320IU (6%) | Vitamin C: 26mg (32%) | Calcium: 34mg (3%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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A bowl of Bessara scattered with vegetables, herbs and more

Did you make my Moroccan Fava Bean Dip with Mint & Harissa (Bessara)?

How did you go? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to tag @cookeatworld at Instagram.