Baharat Meatballs with Fava Beans

Baharat Meatballs with Fava Beans


  • Baharat Meatballs with Fava Beans and Lemon
  • This recipe was inspired by the beautiful cookbook Jerusalem – A Cookbook. Baharat is a wonderful mixture of coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cumin, cardamom, and nutmeg. It is easy to mix yourself, or you might be able to find it at specialty food stores. You can use whole spices and grind them yourself, but it’s one less step to use ground spices if you don’t have the time. I used frozen fava beans because they were not in season and they are a lot easier to use. The fresh herbs add a wonderful flavor to the meatballs and sauce. Serve the meatballs over basmati rice and orzo pilaf (see recipe in side dishes).
  • Serves 4
  • Meatballs
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ pound ground lamb (or ground beef)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon each of fresh parsley, mint, dill, and cilantro - divide in half and reserve half for garnishing dish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons baharat spice mix
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons capers, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 8 green onions, cut into ¾ -inch segments
  • 2 ½ cups fresh fava beans, peeled and blanched or frozen (they have already been peeled and ready to go)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons water


In a mixing bowl, place all meatball ingredients and mix well. Make 1-inch meatballs and place on plate.

In a large skillet, add olive oil over medium high heat and add a layer of meatballs. Cook for several minutes on each side until browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove and cook remaining meatballs making sure not to overcrowd skillet. Remove and set aside.

Add olive oil to same skillet and add garlic, thyme and green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add fava beans, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt, pepper and enough stock to cover fava beans. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Return the meatballs to skillet and add remaining stock. Cover and gently cook for 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, add cornstarch and water and mix well. Pour half of mixture into skillet and gently stir. Sauce should have consistency of heavy cream. Add more stock or water if the meatballs are not all glazed with the sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Add remaining lemon juice and remaining fresh herb mixture and gently stir.


Baharat Spice Mix

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons cardamom

2 teaspoons nutmeg

Mix all spices well and store in airtight container for several months.


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