Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)

Persian Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam), made with parsley, mint, beef, dried lemons and green almonds.

Persian Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam) by

It is mid-spring and we are in the peak of green almond season. This is the unriped almond and the whole pod is edible. Never tried a green almond, let alone heard of one? Well you are missing out! It’s crunchy and tangy inside and Persians love to eat them with a bit salt sprinkled over it. But you can also cook with green almonds, too.

Anatomy of an Almond (Green Almond)

But first, for you new comers, a quick lesson on the green almond. If you slice one in half you can see clearly the almond nut center that is not yet developed. It is soft and watery. The clear gel between the immature nut and the fuzzy exterior is sour and full of flavor. This is the original high-fiber, protein-packed snack!

Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)

A Persian specialty is Persian Green Almond Stew, or Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam, and it is made with beef, parsley and mint. I throw in spinach for more added nutrition. During the cooking process the inner almond nut can turn bitter, so it is typically removed for this recipe. BUT, don’t discard it. It is still edible and can be munched on while you cook away… to give you energy, right?!

Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)

The base of this stew is pretty much the base of another Persian stew, khoresht-eh karafs. Except instead of celery, you use the green almonds. But many Persians combine the two stews, serving the herb base with both celery AND green almonds. So knock yourself out deciding which version you want to try.

Green Almonds

And like all Persian stews, it is served on a bed of fluffy basmati rice.

Green almonds are not available everywhere, so consider yourself lucky if you come across some. And be a little adventurous in your culinary journeys and try something new and unfamiliar!

Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)

The green almond is the unripe form of the almond. The entire pod is edible and is slightly sour. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric, dried
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 limes, dried, quartered
  • 3 cup parsley, American, packed
  • 1 cup mint, fresh, packed
  • 1 cup spinach, fresh, packed
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, ground
  • 2 lb green almonds


  1. In a large bowl mix together:
    • 2 lb beef stew meat , cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric, dried
    • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add:
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  3. When oil is hot, add:
    • 1 onion , chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  4. Cook until onions start to soften, approximately 7 minutes and add:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric, dried
  5. Cook for a 2 minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high, add stew meat and brown all sides, approximately 7 minutes.
  6. Stir in:
    • 2 cup beef broth
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  7. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits of meat from the bottom of the pot.
  8. Add to the stew:
    • 2 limes, dried , quartered
  9. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring the stew every 30 minutes.
  10. Using a food processor (or chop finely with a knife) chop:
    • 3 cup parsley, American , packed
    • 1 cup mint, fresh , packed
    • 1 cup spinach, fresh , packed
  11. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add:
  12. 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  13. Sauté chopped greens for 5 mins then add to the meat mixture, along with:
    • 1/4 tsp saffron , ground
  14. Cook stew covered over low heat for another 30 minutes.
  15. Cut in half and remove the inner seed from:
    • 2 lb green almonds
  16. Stir in halved green almonds into the stew, cover pot and cook for 30 mins.
  17. Serve hot.


Serving Suggestions: The inner seed is removed because it can turn bitter during the cooking process. Some people skip this step and use the whole pod in the stew. This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. Serve with basmati rice.

Cooking Tips: This dish can also be made vegetarian by omitting the meat and by using vegetable broth.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 6

Cook Time:

Total Time:

Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam) Detail

, , , , ,

15 Responses to Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)

  1. I’ve been playing around with green almonds, but haven’t yet actually made anything. This dish looks/sounds fantastic. I’ve got another batch of the almonds coming this week…so we’ll see what they get turned into.

    • Laura at #

      So glad you can find them in your area. Have fun cooking with them!

  2. Well I’m one that has never heard of, nor had, a green almond! So I have been missing out. But I won’t in the future, because I’ll know what to look for. Nice dish and really nice photos. Good read – thanks.

    • Laura at #

      Definitely try looking at middle-eastern stores – we love our baby almonds!

  3. Lana at #

    I have two Persian stores very close and I ogle these almonds every time I shop (which is at least twice a week:) Now that I know what to do with them, I’ll have to buy them! Pinned it (that’s my new “to try” place:)
    BTW, in Serbian we say “badem” for almond, which is probably Farsi, via Turkish:)

    • Laura at #

      You ogle the almonds, Lana? ha! ha! Definitely give them a try. And yes, in farsi, badam = almonds.

  4. As you mentioned, I’ve never heard of or seen a green almond. How interesting!

    • Laura at #

      And you can educate your foodie friends all about the green almond!

  5. The progression of beauty in these photographs takes my breath away. I want to make this. I’ll be on the lookout for Persian markets with green almonds, but I can make the celery version right now. And that rice! I just happen to have some exquisite Persian saffron right in my very own NC kitchen! 🙂

    • Laura at #

      Nancy, I’m so happy I was able to get to know you at camp. You really are an amazing spirit that can always make me smile! Enjoy the saffron!

  6. I am going to have to keep an eye out for green almonds, they sound interesting! What a great stew, so flavorful!

  7. This stew must be amazing! I have made khoresht-eh karafs, but have never heard of this one. I love all the ingredients, except I never saw green almonds, not even in Persian grocery stores. And probably using regular almonds won’t do, right? sigh… oh, well, I’ll keep an eye out for green almonds – I’m always happy to learn of new ingredients 🙂

  8. Green almond is new to me! I love learning new ingredient and hoping to see it in market. I remember you then. 😉 The stew looks wonderful and I can eat myself eating this with the basmati rice… I still have hours before lunch (and finished breakfast not a long ago), but my tummy really made noise seeing your photos!

  9. I have never heard of the green almond. It sounds interesting and the stew looks so wonderful. I just came across your blog from Nami’s and really am enjoy reading about your dishes. I love the Iranian spices and dishes and look forward to seeing more of your food!

  10. In Lebanon we eat the same way: sprinkled with salt, but cooking with them is a first with me. I noticed that here in the USA they are unheard of, so yeah if I come across some I will be getting them ASAP.
    I do have some celery in the fridge that need to be used, this stew might be a good idea, I love stews made the Lebanese way, never tried Persian way or even any Persian food for that matter. It has always been on my list I guess it is a good way to start!

Leave a Reply