Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds

Moroccan Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds Recipe Top

This ancient Berber dish is prepared around March or April in Morocco, when both green almonds and fava beans are seasonally available. The lamb is slow-cooked with ground mace and finished with the almonds, the beans, and a generous helping of sauteed onions.

I know next to nothing about traditional Moroccan cuisine and the recipe looked simple enough, so why not? I was more interested in cooking with green almonds, though, because I have only tasted it raw.

After a brief simmer, the almonds reminded me of crunchy green beans, which went rather nicely with the creamy favas and fork-tender lamb. The broth, with nothing but mace and onions, had a surprisingly deep flavor, but not so strong that it overpowers the almonds and favas.

recipe adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food
Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Maninas

Agneau aux Fèves Vertes et aux Amandes
Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds

makes about 6 servings

Fresh Fava Beans and Ground Mace Recipe
Mace (from The Spice House) and Fresh Fava Beans.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups water
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground mace

2 onions, chopped
1 cup green almonds
3 cups shelled fava beans, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon honey

Notes:

  • I honestly can’t tell the difference between mace and nutmeg. Feel free to use one in place of the other if you agree. Mace is supposedly milder.
  • The original recipe suggests using blanched almonds instead of the green almonds.

Green Almonds - Moroccan Lamb Recipe
Green almonds.

Directions:

  1. In a large heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the pieces of lamb and brown until evenly colored on all sides.
  2. Add the water, salt, pepper, and mace. Bring to a boil and immediately lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and braise for about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.
  3. Start sauteeing the onions towards the end of braising. In a separate pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the onions, just until golden. Stir in the green almonds.
  4. Add the onions and green almonds, along with the fava beans, to the lamb. Stir in the honey and continue cooking over low heat for about 15 minutes, just until the favas are soft and cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Moroccan Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds Recipe
Trying a completely random recipe pays off sometimes.

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39 Responses to “Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds”

  1. Meeta says:

    love fava beans but i have to admit i have not quite combined them with lamb yet. a lovely idea!

  2. Rosa says:

    This looks delicious! An original dish!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Natashya says:

    I am so intrigued by your green almonds. And fresh fava beans! I have only had them canned, frozen or dried.
    Looks like a wonderfully savoury dish.

  4. Mara @ What's For Dinner? says:

    What an interesting recipe! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen green almonds, but I’m LOVING that you have spices from Spice House! I’ve been going to that store in Evanston since I was a little girl :)

  5. kat says:

    Bookmarking this one!

  6. Joelen says:

    What a great dish combining these ingredients!

  7. yasmeen says:

    I spotted those green almonds while in middle eastern store last,couldn’t decide what to make of it until now.Sounds like a hearty combo with beans and lamb.

  8. Carolyn says:

    That looks wonderful, and so springy. Feeling comforted just looking at it!

  9. Teanna says:

    Where can one find these amazing green almonds?!?

  10. The Duo Dishes says:

    Are you going to start new career in music anytime soon? If so, please write a song called ‘I’m bringing fava back’.

  11. bee says:

    mace is the flower of the nutmeg tree. the green almonds look so quaint and wonderful.

  12. snookydoodle says:

    Really a nice dish :)

  13. Sean says:

    You’ve been having a lot of fun w/ those green almonds lately! I bet that lamb was so tender through that braising. Great job!

  14. Selba says:

    Green almonds? Wow! I’ve never seen or heard it before! What an interesting dish :)

  15. Christina@DeglazeMe says:

    This sounds rich and delicious!!

  16. noble pig says:

    Love those almonds with the favas, the color is so great.

  17. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says:

    Mmmm looks delicious Jude! Nice and warming, perfect for the cold weather we’re having :)

  18. grace says:

    i can state with certainty that i’ve never tasted a green almond. really, i didn’t know such a thing existed to be eaten. this looks like a fantastic, soul-soothing meal. :)

  19. Caitlin says:

    There you go again, throwing ingredients in that I can never find :) Green almonds? Favas? Since my family stopped raising sheep, I can’t go back to storebought lamb either. Dang, this is just unfair.

  20. Manggy says:

    Mace! Now that’s a rarely-used spice right there! Last I heard of it, it was in an apple pie, but writers now have all but forgotten that :)

  21. Lori says:

    I so want to taste these almonds. I just love favas and lamb. I know I would like this dish.

  22. pixen says:

    yummy… i love green almonds! Anything with almonds it’s heaven for me. I love reading your blog and gawking at your lovely recipes and photos! Great work and really made visiting for more :-)

  23. Dragon says:

    This lamb look so delicious!

  24. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    This is really stunning! Fava and green almonds . . . I finally can find fava but green almonds . . . wow and they really look different.

  25. Katherine says:

    I have never had fresh fava beans or freah almonds. I am very interested in this dish. It looks and sounds so fresh and full of flavor!

  26. Lien says:

    Great dish, lamb and beans are always a good combo. Never saw green almonds here unfortunately.
    Funny what you said about mace and nutmeg, I think there is a difference in flavor.

  27. CookiePie says:

    Looks delicious!! I love fava beans – yum!

  28. Shari says:

    Green almonds — hmmmm. Sounds interesting. It sounds very flavorful and the lamb — fork tender? Beautiful! Great job.

  29. megan (brooklyn farmhouse) says:

    Oh neat, green almonds! Haven’t seen/thought of them since I had them in S. France years and years ago. What a lovely, creative dish. I wonder if I can find green almonds around here??

  30. Round-up for WHB #181 « Maninas: Food Matters says:

    [...] Braised Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds ~ by Jude from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté (Chicago, USA) [...]

  31. maris says:

    This sounds like a surprising combination but sounds really good! Perfect for the transition from cool weather into springtime.

  32. Teanna, Megan – I always find them at local Mediterranean or Middle Eastern groceries, but only for a week or two in early springtime.

  33. matt wright says:

    Seasonality at its complete best. Love the ingredients here. Fava’s are a favorite of mine, but the season is a bit later here in the pacific northwest :( Loving lamb this time of year though!

    Fantastic photos, great recipe. That goes for everything on your blog actually.

  34. Lori Lynn says:

    OH, how lovely.
    I want to try green almonds!
    LL

  35. Green Almonds Mean Springtime « Israeli Kitchen says:

    [...] the same, here and here are some facts and recipes about green [...]

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  38. kombizz says:

    Interesting recipe. I had never eaten this. I don’t mind to try it.

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