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Moroccan Puree of Fava Beans (Byesar)

1/2 lb dried fava beans
3 garlic cloves; peeled
1 tsp cumin seeds
best quality olive oil
a little water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp Za'atar or thyme or marjoram or oregano

The night before, soak fava beans in 3 to 4 times their volume of
cold water. Discard any favas that float.

The following day, drain, skin and cover with fresh water. Cook
gently, with the garlic and cumin seeds, until the beans are tender
(about 2 hours, depending upon the age and quality of the beans).
Drain.

Puree the beans in a food mill or an electric blender. Stir in
enough olive oil, and a little water, to give the puree a soupy
consistency. Sprinkle with salt to taste and beat well. Heat just
before serving with a little more olive oil and a sprinkling of
crushed za'atar. Serve with Arab bread and a bowl of "mixed spices"
(ground cumin, cayenne and salt). Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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