Persian Classics Persian Rice Vegetarian

Baghali Polo – Dill Rice with Broad Beans

Baghali Polo is a popular Persian rice dish with dill and broad beans. It is usually served with Mahiche, tender slow cooked lamb shanks.

Like every Persian rice dish there are two options of preparing it: Aabkesh or Kateh style.

Aabkesh is the method of pre-cooking the rice, then rinsing it with cold water, transferring it back to the oiled pan, adding any additional ingredients if applicable, and letting the rice steam until cooked and a crispy tadig has built on the bottom of the pan. The rice corns nicely puff and don’t stick to each other, so they can be beautifully arranged in a light and fluffy heap. Many of my Non-Iranian friends ask me, how do you get your rice so puffy and fluffy? This is how.

Kateh is the method of cooking the rice in a pan with approx. double the amount of water. Once most of the water has evaporated, any additional ingredients are added and then the rice is steamed with a lid on over low heat. This way of cooking rice takes less effort and the nutrients aren’t drained away with the cooking water. You can still get a nice tadig using this method, especially if you add a bit of oil or ghee to the rice. The result looks more like a ‘rice cake’.

In this recipe I am explaining the aabkesh method of cooking Baghali Polo. I recently wrote a recipe for Nokhod Polo, which is the same thing as Baghali Polo, only with peas instead of broad beans. In the Nokhod Polo recipe I describe the Kateh cooking method, so if you prefer your Baghali Polo Kateh style, jump over there and follow that recipe. Simply replace the peas with 5 minute ‘al dente’ pre-cooked broad beans.

You can find my recipe for Mahiche, the tender lamb shanks Baghali Polo is usually served with, here.

Baghali Polo ba Mahiche recipe - Persian Lamb Shanks with Dill and Broad Bean Rice | igotitfrommymaman.com

Ingredients for Baghali Polo (serving 4)

400g basmati rice (2 cups)

200g frozen or fresh broad beans (1 cup)

1 bunch fresh dill (about 70g / 2.5oz or 30g (1oz) dried dill

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp ground saffron

2 tbsp salt + extra to taste

3 ice cubes

Time

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 55 min

Total: 1 h 10 min

Baghali Polo recipe - Persian Dill and Broad Bean Rice | igotitfrommymaman.com

Method of cooking Baghali Polo

Prep the ingredients

If you are using fresh dill, wash it well ahead of time and spread it out on a clean kitchen towel to dry for at least 2 hours. Make sure the place is not near a heat source or in direct sunlight.

Transfer the ice cubes to a glass and sprinkle the ground saffron over them. Set it aside to bloom. Alternatively combine the saffron with a few tbsp freshly boiled water and let it sit in a warm place.

Wash the rice by transferring it to a bowl, adding water, moving it around with your hand, rinsing the water, and repeating these steps 3 to 4 times.

If using frozen broad beans / fava beans, let them defrost and remove the skins.

If you are using fresh dill, chop it once it’s completely dry. Then spread it out on a plate to dry again, so you can more easily sprinkle it over the rice without it clumping.

Parboil the rice and green beans/fava beans

Bring a large pot of water to boil and dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in it. Don’t worry, you will wash most of the salt off the rice later. Trust me, if you use any less your rice will taste bland.

Add the rice to the pot and keep the water boiling. Let it parboil until the rice corns are soft on the outside but still have bite in the centre. How long this process takes depends on your rice. I’m using Tilda basmati rice and it only takes 4 minutes for the rice to cook to this stage. It might take anything from 3 to 7 minutes. Add the fava beans 3 minutes toward the end of the parboiling time.

Once your rice and beans are parboiled, drain them in a colander and rinse them with cold water to interrupt the cooking process and wash off the excess salt.

Layer the ingredients

Cover the bottom of a coated pan with vegetable oil. Add 1 tbsp of water to it and give it a quick shake. Then add some of the dill to it. Now add one layer of rice and beans.

Add another layer of dill, then more rice and so on until all your ingredients are used up. Finish with a layer of dill.

If you like, you can combine a few more tbsp vegetable oil or ghee with 3 tbsp water and pour it over the rice.

Poke a few holes through the rice to the bottom of the pot, using the back of a wooden spoon. This way the moisture can evaporate more easily. Turn the temperature to medium/high.

Once you see steam rising from the rice, cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel and firmly close the pot with it. Reduce the temperature to low and let the rice steam over low temperature for about 45 minutes.

Arrange and serve your Baghali Polo

After 45 min you can touch the outside of the pan with a wet kitchen towel. If it makes a sound like ‘tshhh’ your rice is done.

Transfer about a quarter of the rice to a bowl and combine it with the saffron water. Arrange the yellow saffron rice on top of the Baghali Polo. You can serve the tahdig (crispy bits) separately.

Again, if you prefer the easier and more nutritious version of Baghali Polo, take a look at my Nokhod Polo recipe and simply replace the peas with broad beans.

Now you can serve your Baghali Polo with decilious Mahiche. Enjoy!


Baghali Polo ba Mahiche Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Print

Baghali Polo

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Baghali Polo, broad beans, dill, Persian rice, Rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Time drying fresh dill 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 400 g basmati rice 2 cups
  • 200 g frozen or fresh broad beans 1 cup
  • 1 bunch fresh dill (about 70g /2.5oz or 30g (1oz) dried dill
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron
  • 2 tbsp salt + extra to taste
  • 3 ice cubes

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

  1. If you are using fresh dill, wash it well ahead of time and spread it out on a clean kitchen towel to dry for at least 2 hours. Make sure the place is not near a heat source or in direct sunlight.

  2. Transfer the ice cubes to a glass and sprinkle the ground saffron over them. Set it aside to bloom. Alternatively combine the saffron with a few tbsp freshly boiled water and let it sit in a warm place.

  3. Wash the rice by transferring it to a bowl, adding water, moving it around with your hand, rinsing the water, and repeating these steps 3 to 4 times.

  4. If using frozen broad beans / fava beans, let them defrost and remove the skins.

  5. If you are using fresh dill, chop it once it’s completely dry. Then spread it out on a plate to dry again, so you can more easily sprinkle it over the rice without it clumping.

Parboil the rice and green beans/fava beans

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and dissolve 2 tbsp of salt in it. Don’t worry, you will wash most of the salt off the rice later. Trust me, if you use any less your rice will taste bland.

  2. Add the rice to the pot and keep the water boiling. Let it parboil until the rice corns are soft on the outside but still have bite in the centre. How long this process takes depends on your rice. I’m using Tilda basmati rice and it only takes 4 minutes for the rice to cook to this stage. It might take anything from 3 to 7 minutes. Add the fava beans 3 minutes toward the end of the parboiling time.

  3. Once your rice and beans are parboiled, drain them in a colander and rinse them with cold water to interrupt the cooking process and wash off the excess salt.

  4. Layer the ingredients
  5. Cover the bottom of a coated pan with vegetable oil. Add 1 tbsp of water to it and give it a quick shake. Then add some of the dill to it. Now add one layer of rice and beans. 

  6. Add another layer of dill, then more rice and so on until all your ingredients are used up. Finish with a layer of dill.

  7. If you like, you can combine a few more tbsp vegetable oil or ghee with 3 tbsp water and pour it over the rice.

  8. Poke a few holes through the rice to the bottom of the pot, using the back of a wooden spoon. This way the moisture can evaporate more easily. Turn the temperature to medium/high. 

  9. Once you see steam rising from the rice, cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel and firmly close the pot with it. Reduce the temperature to low and let the rice steam over low temperature for about 45 minutes. 

Arrange and serve your Baghali Polo

  1. After 45 min you can touch the outside of the pan with a wet kitchen towel. If it makes a sound like ‘tshhh’ your rice is done.

  2. Transfer about a quarter of the rice to a bowl and combine it with the saffron water. Arrange the yellow saffron rice on top of the Baghali Polo. You can serve the tahdig (crispy bits) separately. 

  3. Again, if you prefer the easier and more nutritious version of Baghali Polo Kateh style, take a look at my Nokhod Polo recipe and simply replace the peas with parboiled broad beans.

  4. Now you can serve your Baghali Polo with decilious Mahiche. Enjoy!


I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, I’m always happy to help. I’d love to see your Baghali Polo! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

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Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!


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