The recipe I am sharing today is actually my mum’s not mine. I have never had to make bigilla, as my mum makes a big batch every Friday, regular as clockwork. She makes enough for the household, for my husband and myself, for the priest, the doctor, the neighbour and even the tailor.
When non veggies ask me where I get my protein !!! I always jokingly tell them – from my mother’s bigilla. I eat it cold on crackers with salad mostly, but you can also eat it warm if you prefer. This humble concoction is full of protein and a good source of fibre.
My mum uses tick beans in her bigilla and we like her to leave the skin of the beans on as this gives it a coarser, chunkier texture. It is important to soak them for about 24 hours. Then drain and rinse them well.
So here is the treasured family recipe.
You will need:
- tic beans (my mum makes a batch with 1 kg dry weight, so if you are not feeding half the village, cook less)
- olive oil
- crushed garlic
- salt and pepper
- chilli paste
- mixed spice
- baking powder
Cooking this is very easy:
Start by tipping drained beans in a large pot and adding enough water to cover. Then add the oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and chilli. The amounts are not precise and can vary according to your taste. The chilli can also be omitted if you don’t like it spicy.
Cover and cook this on low heat for about 1 and a half hours. When you can see that the beans are soft, add half a teaspoon of baking powder and some mixed spice. Remove from the stove and leave to stand with the lid on.
You can mash the mixture by hand or if you like it smoother, use an immersion blender.
Never underestimate this simple traditional dish. You can serve it as a dip with galletti, heap it on salad for a packed lunch or simply as a side with your hobz biz-zejt.