Berber Bean Purée

Bessara (bean purée) and ksra (Moroccan anise bread) combine complementary proteins for a simple delicious meal. Though bessara is most commonly made with dried fava beans, we prefer this version using red kidney beans or small red beans.
1 cup dried red kidney beans or small red beans, soaked overnight in 3 cups water and drained
3 cups cold water
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, dry-roasted and ground, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice

For garnish (optional):
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
You will need a large saucepan with a lid and a food processor.

Place the beans in a saucepan and add the water and garlic. Bring to a vigorous boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour for small red beans, somewhat longer for kidney beans.

Transfer the beans and cooking liquid to a food processor and purée, in batches if necessary. Place in a serving bowl. The consistency should be like that of thick soup; stir in a little warm water if necessary.

Stir in the salt, chili flakes, cumin, parsley and lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. If you wish, sprinkle on a little olive oil and cayenne. Serve with plenty of bread for dipping.

Makes about 2½ cups purée. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer with bread.


From The Boston Globe


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