White-bean messabecha recipe

A creamy, rich alternative to classic hummus
A creamy, rich alternative to classic hummus Credit: nuriel molcho

Messabecha is traditionally a warm, creamy hummus served with whole chickpeas. This version is made with white beans and without garlic.

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking time | Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes


Four to six as a starter


  • 400g dried white beans
  • 2 small onions
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 50ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp tahini (ideally unhulled, made from whole sesame seeds)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red or green chilli pepper
  • Challa or pitta bread, to serve Sumac, to garnish


  1. Soak the beans overnight in three times as much water. The next day, pour through a strainer, wash under cold water and drain.
  2. Peel the onions. Bring the beans to the boil in a large pan with three litres of water, the onions, sage and olive oil, and cook for one and a half hours. Then add one tablespoon of salt and continue cooking until the beans are very soft – about one more hour. Add more water as needed. When the beans are done, strain them, saving the cooking water.
  3. Using a blender or a stick blender, briefly whizz 420g of the beans together with the tahini and lemon juice; small pieces should still be visible. Blend in a bit of cooking water as needed. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Deseed the chilli pepper and finely dice. Toast the bread and spread the bean paste on plates.
  5. Arrange the remaining beans and the diced chilli on top, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. Serve with the bread.