Beirut butterbean mash

LEVEL: Beginners



2 x 400g can butterbeans, drained and rinsed
250g potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
400-500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon
1-2 tsp sumac (optional)
salt and ground black pepper


The title of this recipe is a bit of a liberty on my part because mash as we know it here in the UK – made with potatoes – wouldn’t be served in Lebanon. Mashing up beans, however, is something we would do, so here I’ve combined the two concepts to create a hybrid dish. The mild, neutral flavour of butterbeans and potatoes is a perfect foil for the classic Lebanese seasonings of cumin and lemon, and the beans’ creamy texture lifts the starchier, denser potatoes. You can choose how much to purée this depending on how smooth or coarse you like your mash.

Tip the butterbeans into a pan with the potato, then pour in the hot stock. Add the garlic and cumin to the pan and season well.

Put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the potato and garlic feel tender when pressed with a knife.

Drain all the stock into a jug, then return about 100ml to the pan.

Using a potato masher or a stick blender, purée until smooth.

Beat in more of the stock until the mash is as firm or as soft as you like it. Any remaining stock can be kept in the fridge and re-used in a soup.

Beat in the tahini, half the olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and the sumac to taste, if using. Check the seasoning – it may need a little more salt at this stage.

Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining oil and a little extra salt and pepper.


To make this into a smooth hot dip, simmer the beans with 200ml stock then purée as above.

Taste and season, stirring in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for extra flavour.