I was at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, and found frozen shelled fava beans. I like fresh fava beans in the shell, but it is not often that you can find that in the Baltimore region. So, shelled frozen favas will definitely do. I’ve stocked up each time I found them, because they do seem to sell out.
If you want to look for them, this is what the package looks like:
Anyway, about this recipe…. Maqlouba (literally meaning “upside down”) is a traditional Palestinian dish, that can be varied according to meats and vegetables used. I like fava beans with lamb, so that is the featured combo for this maqlouba. It utilizes the slow cooker for part of it (so it can be set and you can run errands or whatnot), but can be done completely on the stove top, adjusting time.
I also used some of the broth (created by cooking the lamb) to make a kefir soup, using the homemade kefir we have been culturing in our kitchen. We served this soup in small bowls along side the meal. Some of us sipped the soup separately, and some liked it poured on top of the rice. The soup recipe follows the maqlouba recipe.
Lamb and Fava Bean Maqlouba
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1½ lb lamb shoulder
1½ cups jasmine rice
1 14 once package frozen fava beans
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons allspice
1-2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
½ teaspoon coriander seed or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
½ chopped onion
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, lamb, and spices. Saute about 5 minutes on medium-heat.
Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for about half an hour, skimming off any scummy stuff that rises to the top.
At this point, the lamb should very tender. Turn off slow cooker.
Wash rice in several changes of cool water, until water runs clear. Top with cold water, and soak for 15 minutes. Drain.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add frozen fava beans, the lamb, and half a cup of the liquid from the slow cooker.
Stir gently a few times, and cover. Let cook for about 5 minutes to defrost the beans.
Add rice, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 teaspoon each: cumin, allspice, and turmeric. Stir and let come to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.
Serve with salad and plain yogurt, or with the kefir soup below.
Kefir soup (This is a thinner soup than the Yogurt Sauce from the wannabe mansaf recipe because we wanted it to be more soupy than saucy, but you could thicken it the same way as in the linked recipe. )
4 cups lamb broth
3 cups plain kefir
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon cooking oil (or ghee)
In a small pot, heat up 2 cups of broth. Place kefir and 2 cups of broth in a bowl, stirring well until smooth. Add to pot, along with the spices, tomato paste, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until it is a homogeneous soup.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat garlic and oil (or ghee) over medium-high heat, adding a pinch each of turmeric, salt, and cumin. When oil is bubbly and garlic is golden, add to soup. Remove pot from heat.