Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Liam's Recipes

Baghali Polo

10-12

servings

25 minutes

active time

1 hour 25 minutes - 2 hr

total time

Ingredients

5 cups dill weed, freshly chopped (or 1¼ cup dried, way more than you’d think)

3 cups basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear

1 lb fava or lima beans (should be shelled, if using dried then soak overnight)

2 medium potatoes, sliced about ¼” thick

3 tbsp chives, finely chopped (or another herb like green onions

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tsp saffron, finely ground and dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water

½ tsp ground cumin or coriander

Olive oil or butter

Salt & black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Boil about 10 cups of water with a few pinches of salt in a large pot. Once it’s boiling, add the rinsed basmati rice and the beans. Boil for 4-5 minutes, or until the rice grains are soft, stirring while it’s cooking. Drain the rice and beans in a strainer and set aside.

In a large, deep glass baking dish, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil or melted butter, then sprinkle some salt, pepper, and ground cumin / coriander. Use a potato slice to spread it around, then evenly arrange the potato slices. Sprinkle some more salt, pepper, and ground cumin / coriander atop the potatoes after.

Spread a layer of rice and beans, followed by a thin layer of dill weed, along with a mixture of the chives and garlic. Continue doing this until you run out of ingredients, making sure your final layer is rice and beans.

Pour 4 tbsp of olive oil or melted butter over the top of the whole thing, then sprinkle over the saffron water as evenly as you can.

Cover the glass baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and seal the edges well. Bake for an hour or more at 350 F or more. You’re looking for the bottom crust of potatoes and rice to be golden-brown and crispy, so use that as your gauge.

Once the crust is well formed, remove the baking dish from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes with the foil removed. Traditionally, the top layer of saffron rice is mixed up and set aside for a colorful garnish at the end.

With heat-proof gloves, take a large plate or baking sheet and set it atop the baking dish, ensuring that it fully covers all edges. Firmly hold both sides, and flip it over so that the rice comes out upside down onto the plate / baking dish. If your crust is fully formed, it should come out fine, but may need some tapping from the outside of the baking dish to fully release. Remove the baking dish, and scrape out any remaining crust still stuck to the bottom and put it atop the pile.

Sprinkle the reserved saffron rice atop for garnish. Enjoy family style, serving with meat or other entree dishes. Stews / roasts with a sauce go best with this.

Notes

A Persian fragrant rice and bean dish mainly flavored by dill and saffron. Believed to originate around the 1500’s, the name in Farsi directly translates to ‘fava bean rice pilaf’, but other beans like lima beans are sometimes used. This dish consists of layered rice, herbs, and beans, that are baked in an oven together to finish. This particular recipe uses slices of potatoes at the bottom to get a browned potato and rice crust, similar to the method used in Tahdig. Traditionally served alongside meat, like the Persian Braised Lamb recipe I’ve also added. This makes a ton of food, so adjust the portions accordingly.

10-12

servings

25 minutes

active time

1 hour 25 minutes - 2 hr

total time
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