Valletta, Malta

Squeeze the most out of Malta with this month's TASTEscape destination guide produced in partnership with Great British Chefs. Discover some of the more unusual venues to dine in, such as the revered “King’s Own”, serving Maltese cuisine, and colonial clubs that still retain memorabilia of their lively past. Can't wait to get there? Then we have the perfect recipe for you below.

Recipe: Maltese Bigilla

This delicious broad bean dip recipe is a Maltese delicacy, packed with flavour from beans, mint and chilli. In Malta, they use local beans known as Ful ta' Ġirba to make this dip, but dried fava beans make an excellent alternative if you can't get your hands on any.


Course: Side 
Difficulty: Easy 
Time: 10 minutes (plus overnight soaking)


  • 450g of fava beans, dried 
  • 100g of fresh broad beans, boiled and peeled 
  • 2 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp of fresh mint, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp of fresh marjoram, chopped 
  • 1 red chilli, trimmed and diced 
  • 1 bulb of garlic, all cloves peeled 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil, plus extra to serve


  1. Soak the dried fava/broad beans overnight. Replace the water the next day and bring the beans to the boil before simmering until cooked and soft 
  2. Drain the beans, allow them to cool and place in a large bowl with ¾ of the fresh broad beans and the remaining ingredients. Using a handheld stick blender, pulse them until mashed but with some texture still 
  3. Pile the dip into a serving bowl and scatter the rest of the fresh broad beans over the top. Drizzle over some extra olive oil and garnish with fresh mint leaves 
  4. Serve as a dip with bread or as a sandwich spread


Recipe courtesy of