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Moroccan Bean Dip or 'Bessara' (Rice Cooker)

by Chef Katie Chin

Moroccan Bean Dip or 'Bessara' (Rice Cooker)

Chef Katie Chin, author of 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes, has created a recpe perfect for summer entertaining...

This dip, made with dried fava beans and seasonings, is a great appetizer to serve with pita wedges and vegetable crudités. Accompanied by mint tea or wine of any variety, it's perfect for all types of parties. It also makes an excellent accompaniment, along with couscous and salad, to a lamb or chicken main course.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

     Medium rice cooker; fuzzy logic or on/off

     Food processor

11⁄2 cups     dried fava beans     375 mL

6 cups     water     1.5 L

2     cloves garlic     2

11⁄2 tsp     salt     7 mL

1 tsp     ground cumin     5 mL

1⁄2 tsp     sweet paprika     2 mL

1⁄2 tsp     cayenne pepper     2 mL

1⁄4 cup     freshly squeezed lemon juice     60 mL

1⁄3 cup     extra virgin olive oil     75 mL

     Additional sweet paprika

     Finely chopped fresh parsley

1.     Sort, rinse and soak fava beans. Drain and peel off skins.

2.     Place soaked fava beans and water in the rice cooker bowl. Set the rice cooker for the Regular cycle and set a timer for 11⁄2 hours.

3.     When the timer sounds, check to see if fava beans are tender. If necessary, continue cooking, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 tbsp (45 mL) cooking liquid.

4.     In food processor, combine fava beans, reserved cooking liquid, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, cayenne and lemon juice; purée until smooth. With the motor running, through the feed tube, drizzle in oil; process until blended.

5.     Transfer bean mixture to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring, until warmed through.

6.     Transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Dust with paprika and garnish with parsley.

TIP: Fava beans are also known as broad beans, horse beans, English beans, faba beans and Windsor beans. While their season is fleeting, it's a wonderful treat to cook with fresh fava beans, and worth the effort. When shopping for fava beans, select small pods; those that bulge with beans are past their prime. Two pounds (500 g) of unshelled beans yields about 1 cup (250 mL) shelled.