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.Monday, 3 June 2019

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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