Loubia B’lham – White Bean & Lamb Stew


It may still be summer but with the drop in temperature here in the UK our family have been enjoying autumn and winter dishes throughout the week.

Here is a warm and hearty white bean and lamb stew, It’s popular all over north africa but i’m calling it Algerian because i’m deeply attached to the country through my husband.

You can use any type of white bean for this stew but i’m using haricot beans also known as alubia blanca in spanish and it’s very similar to the type used in baked beans but slightly bigger.

I used a jar of beans but you can soak dry beans for a day or 2 if you prefer and that is the traditional and healthier way. I cooked the stew until most of the beans had fallen to bits, you see the bean is the thickening agent here so you can cook the stew to your desired liking but i like mine really thick so low and slow for 2-4 hours (depending on if you used canned, jarred or soaked dry beans) should be sufficient.

Lastly, my husband and I always add harissa to our bowls of loubia at the end so that our children can eat the ‘plain’ version without complaining but feel free to add some harissa at the start along with your cumin or even a green chilli finely chopped if you haven’t harissa.

Loubia B’lham

Serves 5
white bean and lamb stew
Cook Time: 2 hr


  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 300 grams diced lamb
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. harissa – to taste *optional
  7. 2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. salt and pepper (to start i go with 1 tsp, 1/4 tsp pepper then adjust at the end)
  10. 1 – 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  11. 2 tomatoes of half tin plum tomatoes, chopped
  12. 3/4 tablespoon double concentrate tomato puree
  13. 570 gram jar (net weight: 400 grams) alubia blanca, rinsed or 200g dry beans soaked in hot water for a day or more
  14. 800ml water*
to serve
  1. – dash of harissa, drizzle of vinegar & olive oil * optional


  1. In a cooking vessel on medium – low heat add oil then gently fry meat, onion, garlic, spices, seasonings and bay leaf for 5-10 minutes until meat has browned and onions have softened, stir often and add splash of water if needed (so that the spices don’t burn).
  2. Add tomato paste, cook for 1 minute more then add carrots, tomatoes, beans and water bring to boil then reduce heat till a light simmer. Slow cook for 2 – 4 hours until beans are tender or to you desired consistency.
  3. Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary, remove bay leaf and serve warm


  1. Please note I cooked my loubia in a regular stock size pan but if your using a tagine/casserole you may need less water as they are known to maintain moisture levels also please note i used pre-cooked beans but if you choose to use dry soaked ones that haven’t been pre-cooked then you will need more water than the amount listed above go with a cm above the beans and keep checking the liquid level every 30 minutes or so.


Loubia B’lham – White Bean & Lamb Stew
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Loubia B’lham – White Bean & Lamb Stew

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