Bosara: Egyptian Dip of Split Fava Beans and Aromatic Fresh Herbs

Today is Orthodox Palm Sunday! 

Palm Sunday and the entire holly week brings a wealth of food memories about our spiritual and culinary traditions during that special week. 

In this post, I pay homage to a dish that my late father was fond of.

My father who left us exactly a year ago, loved to have Bosara during the holly week.  He was an intrepid foodie and staunch fan of my food journey.  In his eighties, he had an IG account to follow my feed!

On our last phone call, he urged me to niche down my food writing and lazer focus on Egyptian cuisine.

“No cuisine could be more diverse than one steeped in +7000 years of history. If there is no motivated advocate for such richness, YOU should be the one,” These were his last words to me before my sister texted me 48 hours later to inform me that he was gone!

In my heart, I know that he has been watching me happily over the last year, bringing his favorite Egyptian Cuisine to the limelight and putting his priceless advice in action. 

In this post, I will share with you Egyptian Bosara, one of his favorite VEGAN dish that resurfaced in my kitchen this lent.

WHAT IS BOSARA?

Bosara, is a dip of split fava beans blended with aromatic herbs that came to my rescue last week.

For long time, Bosara was merely a remote food memoir that only chimed in a few days ago. 

I probably haven’t had Bosara for over twelve years and I haven’t cooked it myself at all before, for good reasons!

First, because my mom’s Bosara wasn’t the best (I still love you mom). Second, because I was intimated to make it in the first place.  That was the case until I had to compose a vegan brunch for a group of expat women in my house, whom I promised authentic Egyptian dishes

I checked the recipe online and I was flabbergasted how easy it is to make it. 

HOW EASY IS IT TO MAKE BOSARA? 

Well, if you can crack an egg, you can probably make Egyptian Bosara.

Bosara is made of split fava beans, soaked overnight in water and rinsed. The cooking process can’t be simpler! The rinsed fava beans are added to a heavy bottom pan with spices, fresh aromatic herbs such as mint, parsley, dill, garlic, onions and spices.  

We bring the pot to a gentle simmer for almost 30-40 minutes, until the split fava beans are soft and the herbs are totally wilted. Then, the entire contents of the pot are transferred to a food processor and blitzed until a creamy paste forms.

At this point, we return the Bosara to the pot to reheat while adjusting the seasonings. 

Traditionally, the dish is garnished with fried onions, and a drizzle of olive oil. However, I find the oil used for frying the onions is an excellent addition to this humble dish, as it carries the complex and rich flavor of fried onions. A dash of paprika always add a glamor and edge to this humble appetizer. 

HEALTH BENEFITS 

Although being a humble vegan dish, it carries high nutrition value, as the split fava beans are immune boosters and loaded with nutrients.

Eating these beans regularly may have benefits for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, help prevent birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The fresh aromatic herbs in this dish round up its multiple heath benefits with the vitamins and antioxidants they offer. 

Generally speaking, split fava beans are an excellent and versatile addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

HISTORIC FACTS

Bosara is purely an Egyptian dish, empty of any foreign influences, as it hails from Ancient Egypt. Legumes in general, and fava beans in specific, were quintessential ingredients in many recipes of Ancient Egyptians. 

To receive more healthy recipes, inspired by my Egyptian Cuisine, join my foodie tribe here.

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 BOSARA:

Egyptian Dip of Split Fava Beans and Aromatic Fresh Herbs

Serves 4- 6 people 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup split fava beans, soaked and rinsed  
  • 1 onion, quartered 
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (for frying)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup mixed parsley, dill, cilantro, only the leaves
  • 12 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more 
  • 1 teaspoon mint 
  • 1/4 cup oil, olive oil 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak the split fava beans: In a big bowl, add the spit fava beans and enough water to cover and let it sit overnight. The second day, rinse the fava beans with fresh tap water over a fine mesh sieve. 
  2. Cook the fava beans: Add the fava beans, quartered onions, whole garlic cloves, spices and vegetable broth to a heavy bottom pot and let everything simmer until the split fava beans become soft and easy to crush with a fork. Let it cool slightly.
  3. Puree the Bosara: Transfer the pot contents to a food processor and blitz until a soft paste forms. 
  4. Reheat the Bosara: Transfer the fava dip back to the pot to reheat. Adjust the seasoning to your liking and add water or broth if the Bosara is dry or too thick. 
  5. Garnish the bosara with paprika and fried onions.
  6. Serve the Bosara hot or at room temperature with toasted bread wedges and fresh chopped veggies. 

 

NERMINE'NOTES 
  • The consistency of Bosara should be more or less like a hummus dip, not too thick but not too liquidy either. 

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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