Baghali is Farsi for Broad Beans, Combined with fresh finely chopped dill along with aromatic rice make a very delicious meal called Baghali Polo.
Ingredients for Baghali polo
Like most other Persian polo recipes Baghali Polo has only a few ingredients. All you need is rice, fresh or dried dill, broad beans, oil, salt and water.
Fresh green broad beans are available for a short few weeks in mid to late spring.
This time of year most Iranian ladies would buy tons of fresh broad beans in pods to clean, and store in the freezer to be used later in the year.
This process of cleaning fresh broad beans is a time-consuming task which, begins with removing the pod to expose the beans, then removing the thin skin of the beans one by one so it could be used for cooking.
Is Baghali Polo a vegetarian dish?
Baghali Polo with its fluffy steamed rice, the mesmerising aroma of dill and buttery texture of the broad beans, it complements a variety of meats such as saffron braised lamb, chicken, turkey or beef. Yet it could be served as a vegetarian dish along with a bowl of Salad-Shirazi or Mast Khiar.
Check our recipe for Persian side dishes
How to cook Baghali Polo
The first thing to do for this recipe is preparing rice, the same way you would for any other Persian rice dishes.
follow all the steps up to the point where rice grains are soft on the outside and still firm in the centre.
Add the broad beans to the boiling water with rice and bring it to another boil and then add dried dill (this would help to rehydrate them), after 3 minutes drain in the colander and rinse under cold water.
You can use fresh or frozen Broad Beans.
I used dried dill, but if you have fresh dill, it’s best to use that. And for each cup of dried dill you would need two cups fresh dill, they both will make delicious dill rice.
Heat the oil or butter in the pot and cover the bottom of the pot with potato pieces, in a single flat layer and season with salt.
I have used sesame seed for the potato Tahdig to give it a much delicious taste and a little saffron for colour. You can use the type of potatoes that makes a good french fry.
Layer the partially cooked rice mixture on top, pressing down on the rice gently to pack it down.
In the process of making potato Tahdig, If your heat is too high, the potatoes will burn before the rice cooks through and If it’s not high enough, the potatoes won’t get crispy. It might take you a few tries to figure out what temperature setting works best on your stove
Once all the rice mixture is in the pot, sprinkle the top with cinnamon and bloomed saffron.
With the back of your spoon create some holes to let the steam out like chimney.
Cover the pot lid with a clean kitchen towel and steam for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the steam rises, the rice grains are tender and the Tahdig is crispy and golden.
Wrapping the lid in a kitchen towel is essential for any Persian rice recipe as the kitchen towel would absorb extra moisture and steam which will result in fluffy rice.
To serve Baghali Polo use a spatula to transfer the steamed rice to a serving dish and you can arrange the potato Tahdig pieces on the side.
The Tahdig should release very easily, after this you would see for yourself why the Tahdig (bottom crust) is the best part of any Persian rice.
Baghali polo | Persian rice with dill and broad beans With golden potato Tahdig
- 2 cups rice
- 2 cups frozen baby broad beans skinned
- 1 cup dried dill or 2 cups finely chopped fresh dill
- 3 teaspoon bloomed saffron
- Dash of cinnamon
- Butter or vegetable oil
Ingredients for Potato Tahdig
- 2 medium Yukon gold potato peeled, sliced into ¼inch rounds
- raw sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil
- Bloomed saffron
- Wash and soak the rice in water, add 2-3
tablespoons of salt and set aside for a couple of hours.
- In a large non-stick pot bring 6 cups of
water to a rapid boil. Drain the rice and pour into boiling water and boil
uncovered for 10 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. Rice should be firm
in the centre and soft on the outside.
- Add the broad beans and dill into the pot.
Bring the water back to boil and then after 5 minutes drain in a colander and
rinse with cold water
- Rinse any residual starch off the potatoes, then
pat dry with a towel and set aside.
- Coat one side of the potatoes with bloomed
saffron for more colour and then gently press them on the sesame seeds so they
would stick to it.
- Heat some oil in the pot then cover the
bottom of the pot with potato pieces, in a single flat layer and season with a
- Place all the rice mixture on top of the
potatoes and building it into a pyramid shape.
- Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and bloomed
- In order to release the steam make 4-5 holes
in the rice with the bottom of a spoon
- Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on
medium-high heat until rice is steaming, pour ¼ cup of water over the rice.
Lower heat and steam the rice for another 45 minutes
- Serve the fully steamed rice on a platter
gently removing the Tahdig to serve along with rice.