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How to make it: Julian’s kusksu bil-ful recipe

This is usually eaten in spring, when ful (broad beans) are in season. If kusksu (pasta beads) proves tricky to find, use giant couscous instead.

By Julian Sammut
Published 3 Jun 2019, 16:48 BST
Kusksu bil-ful
Kusksu bil-ful
Photograph by Ed Schofield

Serves: 4  
Takes: 1 hr 30 mins-2 hrs 


2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
20 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
800g podded broad beans
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 bay leaves
200g kusksu (or giant couscous)
ricotta, to serve (optional)


1 Pour the stock into a large casserole pot and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer.
2 Pour the oil into a large saucepan and set over a low heat. Sauté the garlic for 3 mins until golden. Add the beans and cook, stirring, for 5 mins, then stir through the tomato purée.
3 Turn the heat to medium-high and pour in the stock, one ladleful at a time. Add the bay leaves and a generous amount of salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to very low, cover and leave to simmer for 45 mins.
4 Add the kusksu, turn the heat to medium and cook for 10-12 mins until al dente. Remove from the heat and leave to sit, covered, for 5 mins.
5 Divide the kusksu bil-ful between four bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with a dollop of ricotta, if you like.

Read our feature on a Maltese family feast here.

Published in issue 5 of National Geographic Traveller Food

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