Persian Green Almond Stew (Khoresh Chaghaleh Badoom) is a real special meal made with parsley, mint, beef, dried lemons and green almonds (available in the spring).
It is mid-spring and I love my weekly trips to the market where I find so many of my favorite produce coming back to life: artichokes, asparagus, peas and rhubarb. And in the Persian and middle eastern markets, you can find green almonds, chaghaleh badoom.
Want to learn more about this unusual fruit? Well, read on!
About chagaleh badoom
If you never seen the almond fruit, well this is a real treat. The fruit itself has a green fuzzy skin, similar to peaches. When you find green almonds in early spring, the fruit is small, about 1-inch long. At this size, the entire fruit is edible.
At this stage, the skin and flesh are soft. The heart of the almond fruit, where the nut forms, is a clear gel and tastes tangy and sour. Persian love their sour foods and chagaleh badoom is one of our favorite snacks.
By mid to late spring, as the green almond fruit gets larger, the flesh gets tougher and should not be eaten. The nut center is still not fully formed, so you can still open it up and enjoy the sour center.
How to eat chagaleh badoom
As explained above, when the fruit is small and the flesh is soft, you can eat the entire pod. To balance the sourness of the green almond, we like to sprinkle salt over chagaleh badoom and enjoy this fiber packed fruit simply like this. When the fruit gets larger and the flesh gets too thick to eat, you can peel and enjoy the sour center.
And of course, you can make this delicious green almond stew, Khoresh Chaghaleh Badoom.
About khoresh chaghaleh badoom
The base of this green almond stew is pretty much the base of another Persian fabulous stew, khoresh karafs, using mint and parsley and dried limes. But instead of adding celery to the stew, you halve and add green almonds.
The meat for khoresh chaghaleh badoom can be lamb shanks or beef, depending on personal preference and what you have available. I also like to 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?!
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.
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!
- 2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp groundblack pepper
- ¾ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp all-purpose flour (optional)
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 cup beef broth
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 dried Persian limes, quartered
- 3 cups parsley, packed
- 1 cup mint, packed
- 1 cup spinach, packed
- ¼ tsp ground saffron
- 2 lb green almonds
- In a large bowl mix together stew meat ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp turmeric and 2 tsp flour until meat is coated evenly.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 TBS olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add chopped onions.
- Cook until onions start to soften, approximately 7 minutes and add ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper, ½ tsp turmeric.
- Cook for a 2 minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high, add stew meat and brown all sides, approximately 7 minutes.
- Stir in beef broth and lemon juice.
- Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits of meat from the bottom of the pot.
- Add dried limes to the stew, reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring the stew every 30 minutes.
- Using a food processor (or chop finely with a knife) chop parsley, mint and spinach.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 TBS olive oil.
- Sauté chopped greens for 5 minutes then add to the meat mixture, along with ground saffron.
- Cook stew covered over low heat for another 30 minutes.
- Cut in half and remove the inner seed from green almonds.
- Stir in halved green almonds into the stew, cover pot and cook for 30 minutes.
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.
Nutrition Note: The nutrition information listed below does not include the nutritional information for green almonds because I have yet to find a database that gives me the nutritional information for green almonds.
Serving Size:2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 842mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 52g