Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice)

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This post was created in partnership with Mambo Sprouts and RiceSelect. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me creative in my tiny kitchen!

Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter.

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

Basmati rice is one of my absolute favorite ingredients. It’s so beautifully fragrant and makes a perfect addition to so many different types of meals and cuisines. I’ve been using RiceSelect Texmati rice (an American grown basmati) for years. The containers are the perfect size for my tiny kitchen’s limited cabinet space, and I love repurposing the containers for other ingredients and storage after I’m done with them.

For this particular rice dish, I mixed in dried dill canned lima beans. It brings me right back to my childhood – this was one of my father’s specialties. And trust me – this dish can convert even the most adamant lima bean haters into fans.

The last time my father visited the U.S. from Iran, I made sure to get a crash course on rice cooking so I could share it here (and, more importantly, recreate it at home on the regular).

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

There are a few Persian rice cooking techniques will help you really up your rice game. First off, you need to rinse and soak the rice. This removes the excess starch, making it nice and fluffy.

I like to put my rice in a big bowl, run cold water on it and stir it around with my hands a bit, pour off the water, and repeat another time or 2. Cover the rice by 2 inches with cold water and a bit of salt and let it soak for at least 45 minutes.

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

Another thing that’s different about cooking rice Persian-style is that you parboil the rice, drain it, add any mix-ins and then steam it with no additional liquid.

It’s very different from the way I normally cook rice, and it comes out so incredibly tender. The grains don’t stick together at all.

One of the ways that Persians fancy up their rice is to make a crust (called Tahdig) on the bottom of the rice, which becomes the top once the rice is cooked and inverted onto a serving platter.

You can do this by adding oil and butter to the pan while the parboiled rice drains. And by all means, feel free to just use oil or a nondairy butter if you want to keep this dish vegan.

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

If you have a nonstick pot, that works particularly well in this recipe because you don’t have to worry about the crust sticking to the pan. My family likes adding slices of potato that are fried in the butter/oil/saffron mixture.

My father brought me some saffron from Iran that I’ve been using (and wow is it more fragrant than any I’ve bought here in the states!), but use the best that you can get your hands on. You can omit the saffron if you need to, but it really does add a beautiful dimension to the rice. I just love how the color stains the rice, too.

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

Once your rice is parboiled and your potatoes are brown on one side, flip ’em, pour the rice on top, smooth it out and press down a bit. Then, using the back of a wooden spoon, poke a few vent holes in the rice. Just gently jiggle the handle to get down to the bottom of the pot. This helps the rice steam evenly in its final stage of cooking.

I have one final trick to share for this rice. My father always places a double layer of paper towels between the pot and the lid. The rice cooks on a higher heat for a few minutes then drops down to low until the paper towel starts getting wet.

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

That, apparently, is the way to know that it’s ready. Not scientific at all, but it works like a charm. You’ll see moisture collecting and starting to spread on the paper towel around the edges of the lid. It only takes a few minutes, and then you’re ready to turn out that gorgeous tahdig!

I served this dish as part of a big Persian feast when one of my friends was over for the day. She was majorly impressed, especially watching my super careful rice flip onto the platter. And it totally converted her to a lima bean lover! Score!

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

What’s your favorite way to use basmati rice? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice): Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter. #ad

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice)

Makes 6 Servings

Polo Shevid Baghali (Persian Dill + Lima Bean Rice)

Potatoes are fried in a buttery saffron mixture that help form a beautifully golden crust when this fragrant rice dish is turned out onto a platter.

Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice (I used Texmati)
1 tablespoon salt (I used iodized for this instead of kosher)
3 tablespoons dried dill
1 (15.25-ounce) can lima beans, drained (or 2 8.5-ounce cans)
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon water
1T oil
1T unsalted butter (can omit or use nondairy to keep it vegan)
1 large potato, cut 1/2" thick rounds

Instructions

  1. Place rice in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and stir it around with your hands a bit, then pour off the water. Repeat, then cover the rice by 2 inches with cold water, add salt and let it soak for at least 45 minutes. Drain.
  2. Fill a large pot (preferably non-stick) with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the soaked, drained rice and let boil 5 minutes. Drain rice and rinse both the rice and the pot well with cold water. Place the dill and lima beans on top of the rice and mix well with your hands to incorporate. Set aside while you make the tahdig.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, grind up the saffron until it starts to get powdery. Add water and mix to combine.
  4. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in the same pot you used to parboil the rice. Once melted, add in the saffron/water mixture and place the potato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Once golden brown, flip the potatoes, then pour the rice mixture on top. Smooth it out and press it down a bit so it's flat and even. Then, using the back of a wooden spoon, poke a few vent holes in the rice. Just gently jiggle the handle to get down to the bottom of the pot. This helps the rice steam evenly.
  5. Place a double layer of paper towels on top of the pot and close the lid tightly on top. Let cook on medium-high for 3-5 minutes to help form the crust, then reduce heat to low and cook until the paper towels start to get wet past the lid, about 7-10 minutes longer.
  6. To serve, remove lid and paper towels and invert a platter on top of the pot, making sure to choose a platter that has a larger diameter than your pot. Hold the platter securely against the pot and carefully invert it so that the bottom of the pot of rice is now on top. The rice should slide down onto the platter, but if not, a little jiggle should do it. Remove the pot carefully and enjoy!

Notes

Original Recipe by Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

http://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/polo-shevid-baghali-persian-dill-lima-bean-rice/

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  • Lori H

    Basmati is the best rice ever!!! I love it with dill added as a side with chicken kabobs, but it’s not complete without the cucumber yogurt sauce. Mmmm!

  • I’ve always wanted to make Tahdig rice and now I can, using your easy directions and tips. I’m not a lima bean lover, but I’m willing to add them if you say so:)