Kidney Bean Mtabbal

Kidney Bean Mtabbal

I can eat this with a spoon. Need I say more?

Recently i've really come to appreciate Palestinian food. I must admit i've taken it for granted most of my life, but never seen it's full beauty until now. I've always preferred home cooked food over eating out, I mean, is there anything more enjoyable than lovingly prepared food by your Mama? Kicked up a notch by purely one element, love :) Yes it may seem cringey or silly, but food cooked with love tastes miles more delicious than that that's not.

But back to palestinian food- traditionally it's very plantbased, full of a beautiful and diverse range of fruits and vegetables. When I think palestinian what always spring to mind are aubergines, olives, pomegranates and figs and a mountain of rocket and greens (and parsley!!). Of course the land produces more than just these beauties, but these are a few of my favourites that the thought of gets my tastebuds tingling. The final one that springs to mind is tahini! yes, the magical sesame seed paste which makes food taste distinctively palestinian, in my opinion.

Having recently become obsessed with discovering new (to me) traditional recipes, i've been rifling through the old cookbooks. One of the things I discovered (and if you're palestinian then forgive me for my ignorance) is that anything you mash and mix with tahini, is called Mtabbal. So the combinations are endless- chickpeas, pumpkin, aubergine, potato, fava beans, and what led me to making this recipe, as kidney beans were all I had on hand. But let me tell you, it was fated to be a beautiful necessity.

This dish is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially with Ramadan only a few weeks away. It's perfect with a salad, or some raw vegetables if you want something light yet hearty for iftar.  A great source of protein and healthy fats, that are easy on your digestion, as our bodies grow accustomed to not eating. Kidney beans are cholesterol lowering, high in fiber and don’t raise your blood sugar quickly, one of the most important things to keep in mind as you don’t want to shock your body! 




2 Tins kidney beans
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 lemons
2 tbsp sumac-optional
2 tbsp yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy)- optional

Chilli Salsa

2 Jalapeños
1/2 Lemon
pinch of Salt



  1. Rinse the beans, bring them to a boil on the stove, then drain them
  2. Add them to the food processor and blend them until they are almost completely smooth
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and add the salt, pepper and cumin to taste
  4. Blend once more until all the ingredients are well combines and you have a paste

Chilli Salsa

  1. Roughly chop the Jalapeños, and add to the lemon juice and salt
  2. To serve, top with the Salsa, chop up some parsley or dill and sprinkle on top, along with a little more cumin and sumac, and a drizzle of olive oil