InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


White-Bean Messabecha


Messabecha is like the Israeli version of hummus, and this recipe – from a new cookbook capturing the flavours of Tel Aviv – is made with white beans, tahini and lemon juice.

Print article

Restaurateur Haya Molcho (owner of the NENI chain of Israeli and Middle Eastern-inspired restaurants across Europe) revisited her home town with her four sons to create the new cookbook Tel Aviv: A Culinary Journey with NENI.

The book introduces local “chefs and storytellers”, as well as sharing recipes for 150 dishes – from green shakshuka to Israeli paella – all of which were prepared in Tel Aviv using ingredients from local markets.

White-Bean Messabecha

For 4–6 people as an appetiser


400g dried white beans
2 small onions
3 sprigs sage
50 ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Sea salt
1 tablespoon unhulled tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 acri sivri (cayenne) pepper
Pita bread, to serve
Sumac, to garnish


Soak beans overnight in three times as much water as beans. The next day, pour through a strainer, wash under cold water and drain.

Peel onions. Bring beans to the boil in a large pan with 3 litres of water, onions, sage and olive oil, and cook for 1½ hours. Then add 1 tablespoon of salt and continue cooking until the beans are very soft, about 1 more hour. Add a bit more water as needed.

When the beans are done, strain them, saving the cooking water, and allow to cool.

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.

Deseed the sivri/cayenne pepper and finely dice. Toast the bread until dark brown. Spread the bean paste on plates.

Arrange the remaining beans and the diced sivri/cayenne on top, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. Serve with the bread.

Haya’s tip: You can also cook the beans in a pressure cooker, which reduces the cooking time to 45 minutes.

Images and recipes from Tel Aviv by Neni, photography by Nuriel Molcho, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help  InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Contribute here
Powered by PressPatron

More Recipes stories

Loading next article