Serves a Crowd

"Baghali Polo" - Persian Dill and Fava Bean Rice

July 26, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Anais Babajanian
  • Prep time 15 hours
  • Cook time 50 hours
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a classic Persian rice dish that almost always makes an appearance at dinner parties. The combination of fresh dill, fluffy fava beans, and aromatic basmati rice really sets this side dish apart. It pairs wonderfully with roasted beef or lamb, chicken, or seafood. —Anais Babajanian

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 cups Frozen peeled fava beans
  • 3 cups Chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground turmeric
  • 1 Pita bread/tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 6-7 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil or Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  1. Place rice in a large bowl and fill with water. Once you see the water turn cloudy, drain all the water from the bowl. Repeat this until the water is almost clear - about 3 to 4 times. Drain all the water out and set aside.
  2. Bring about 2-3 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add in fava beans, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes, until just tender.
  3. Drain lima beans, and place in a bowl with dill, turmeric, and 1 tsp salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Bring about 5 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add in about 1 tbsp salt. Add in basmati rice and let cook for 5-6 minutes, or until rice is almost cooked - it should be soft but still have a “bite” to it - kind of like cooking pasta to “al dente.”
  5. Drain the rice into a colander. Place pot back on the burner and remove any excess water left behind. Add in oil, make sure it covers the entire bottom of the pot.
  6. If you want to have tahdig (the deliciously crispy bottom of most Persian rice dishes), place the bread on the bottom of the pot over the oil, and try to cover as much of the bottom as possible without it curling up on the sides.
  7. Add rice back to pot as well as dill-fava bean mixture. Stir to combine and try to shape the rice mixture so that most of the rice piles up in the center like a little hill. Cut butter into smaller chunks and place on top. Poke a few holes in the rice with the end of a wooden spoon to let the steam out.
  8. Cover the pot with a paper towel large enough to cover the full diameter (this helps to keep the rice from getting mushy). Place lid on, and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes (if making tahdig), then reduce heat to low for remaining 30 minutes. If you are not making tahdig, then just let it steam on low for 40-45 minutes.
  9. Remove lid, stir and fluff rice, and serve with your favorite meat or seafood entrée! Enjoy!

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