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Lamb and Fava Beans

Lamb and Fava Beans

Released May 23, 2013 – Last Upgraded March 12, 2020

When my spouse was maturing in Israel, his mother typically made a simple stew with meat and fresh fava beans. It only had a couple of components– onions, garlic, beef, fava beans, chicken powder (consomme), salt and pepper. I discovered the recipe from his sibling and started making it each year when fava beans entered into season. In time I put my own twist on the meal. I replaced the beef with tender lamb stew meat, utilized chicken broth rather of chicken powder, and included a few of my favorite spices. The lamb added tons of taste to the stew, and it quickly ended up being a family favorite. We call my version of the dish Lamb and Fava Beans.

Fava beans are among the earliest domesticated food beans. References to fava beans occur in both the Talmud and the Mishna, suggesting they have become part of the Middle Eastern diet plan considering that at least the 4th century. Fava beans were likely one of the main protein sources for the ancient Israelites, who consumed a mostly vegetarian diet plan that relied heavily on grains along with veggies, fruits, and vegetables. One of the majority of popular beans in ancient Israel was the “broad bean,” or what we describe today as the fava bean. A method for cooking fava beans is in fact talked about in the Talmud. The beans were immersed in a pot of water, sealed, then buried underneath cinders so they could slowly cook.

Today, due to their brief season, fava beans are frequently dried or canned for use throughout the year. Fava beans are only readily available fresh throughout spring, when they can be found at some supermarket, farmer’s markets and Middle Eastern markets. Up until now I have actually handled to discover them at a high end supermarket near my home and our local kosher market– the ones at the kosher market weren’t extremely fresh, though. It is essential to look for a few things when selecting fresh fava beans. You desire beans that are medium-sized– not too huge or too little, balancing around 6-8 inches in length. The shells should feel slightly firm to the touch, not soft or rubbery. They need to be intense to light green in color. A little discoloration on the shell is all right, but avoid beans that are heavily blemished or that have large patches of grey/black on them. If the beans are too large, old or unfresh, they will take longer to prepare and they won’t taste as good in the completed item.

If you’re having problem finding a great batch of fava beans, there are two subs you can utilize here. Frozen lima beans work well with the lamb; though smaller, the shelled bean’s flavor is somewhat equivalent to the fava. Young and tender green beans, while they do not have the very same flavor as favas, will also cook up nicely in this dish. Both of these subs take less time to cook than fava beans, so I advise including them about 20 minutes prior to the end of cooking. You need to prepare till the beans are extremely tender however not excessively mushy.

In this dish, we generally keep the bean shells intact and throw them into the stew. They include fiber and cook up very tender, soaking up the spices and lamb taste. Keep in mind that fava shells can be rather stringy on the edges, even if you string them prior to cooking. To prevent this, you can simply discard the shells prior to cooking and toss the shelled fava beans into the stew. In any case, it’s a very unique meal and something we look forward to every spring.

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Lamb and Fava Beans


4 servings

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

1 hour30 minutes


Tender lamb and fresh fava beans gradually prepared with Middle Eastern spices for a special and tasty stew. Easy recipe with detailed photos.

Active Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 lbs boneless lamb stew meat
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth( 4 cups)
  • 1 pound fava beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked couscous, rice or quinoa for serving( optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh parsley for garnish( optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a 6 quart stock pot over medium till hot. Include minced onion and saute for a few minutes till it softens and begins to brown. Add the garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes longer till aromatic.

  2. Include the lamb stew meat and saute for a few minutes, stirring and turning the meat regularly, till the meat is browned on all sides. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan as you cook. If you have actually selected a fattier cut of lamb, you may discover yourself with a lot of excess fat at the bottom of the pan. If you ‘d like, you can drain pipes the fat from the meat through a mesh strainer at this moment, then return any meat, onions and brown bits back to the pan before proceeding.

  3. Pour 1 quart chicken broth and 2 cups water into the pot and bring it to a simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the top and dispose of.

  4. Stir in the turmeric, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Include 1/4 tsp salt (if you’re salt sensitive, you can omit this and simply salt to taste at the end of cooking).

  5. Reduce the stew to a low simmer. Cover the pot with a lid, vent it, and let it prepare for 1 hour, stirring once or twice during cooking.

  6. Meanwhile, prepare your fava beans. You want beans that are medium-sized– not too big or too small, balancing around 6-8 inches in length. The shells must feel slightly firm to the touch, not soft or rubbery. They need to be intense to light green in color. A little staining on the shell is fine, but prevent beans that are greatly blemished or that have large patches of grey/black on them. Slice the bottom idea off of each bean.

  7. Then, hold the stem end, snap it off, and pull it downward to “unzip” the bean, eliminating the string( s). During this procedure, some beans might begin to fall apart– that’s ok, they will break down in the stew anyhow.

  8. Slice the beans into 2-3 inch pieces. Reserve.

  9. Alternatively, you can shell the beans entirely and discard the shells.

  10. When the meat has cooked for 1 hour, open the pot. Stir in the fava beans and remind a simmer.

  11. Cover the pot once again, vented, and cook for 15 more minutes. Reveal the pot and continue to simmer till the beans are tender. This could take anywhere from 15-30 more minutes depending upon the age and freshness of the beans. As you prepare, season the stew with salt and pepper to taste.

  12. When the beans hurt, mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tbsp of cold water in a little bowl till smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the stew and let it simmer for 2-3 more minutes till it thickens.

  13. Get rid of the stew from heat. Serve hot over freshly prepared couscous, rice or quinoa (for gluten free usage rice or quinoa). You can also serve it by itself for a low-carb meal.

Nutrition Truths

Lamb and Fava Beans

Quantity Per Serving

Calories662 Calories from Fat 180

% Daily Value *

Fat20 g31%

Saturated Fat 5g31%

Cholesterol147 mg49%

Sodium1028 mg45%

Potassium1285 mg37%

Carbohydrates56 g19%

Fiber 8g33%

Sugar 3g 3%

Protein60 g120%

Vitamin A265 IU 5%

Vitamin C20.4 mg25%

Calcium91 mg 9%

Iron 7.2 mg40%

Percent Daily Worths are based upon a 2000 calorie diet plan.

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