Broad bean and dill rice (aka Green rice or Baghali Polow)

This dish takes half a day to prepare, and may involve the whole family shelling broad beans. But hey, it’s worth it!

Baghali Polow, Broad bean and dill rice, Green rice


  • 500g long grain rice (I use basmati)
  • 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 100ml vegetable oil (I use sunflower)
  • 20-30 saffron pistils
  • 6 grains sugar
  • 60g clarified unsalted butter
  • 2kg in pod or 1kg frozen broad beans
  • 2 bundles dill (about 350g)
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 potatoes

What you will need

  • Heavy based large saucepan with lid
  • Colander
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Mixing bowls
  • 1 chop stick
  • 1 clean tea towel

What to do

Step 1: Wash and soak rice

  1. Was the rice with 5 or 6 changes of water (I do this and feed my pot plants the cast off water) The knuckle is the best measurer for water over rice
  2. Cover the rice with at least 2.5cms of water
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of salt
  4. Leave to soak for at least 3 hours
  5. Pour of excess water from the rice

Step 2: Prepare the polow ingredients

  1. Shell the broad beans
  2. Blanch and skin them
  3. Finely chop the onion or garlic
  4. Wash the dill, remove any coarse stems and chop finely
  5. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into 1cm thick rounds

Step 3: Prepare liquid saffron

  1. Place saffron pistils into mortar and place in warm oven for a few mins to ensure they are completely dry
  2. Add 6 grains sugar
  3. Crush saffron into a fine powder
  4. Mix with 5 teaspoons tepid water and let infuseSaffron
  5. Melt 60g of unclarified butter, and mix with the saffron liquid

Step 4: Boil rice and beans

  1. Put 2 litres of water to the into a large saucepan, with 2 tablespoons of salt
  2. Bring to a rapid boil
  3. Mix only the beans and the rice to the rapidly boiling water for 2 mins
  4. Test the grains to see if they are ready – they should be firm on the inside but soft on the outside
  5. Cook for 1 min more
  6. Strain the water rice and rince with warm water
  7. Toss in a colander to remove most of the water

Step 5: Bake rice/potato mix

  1. Add oil to heavy based saucepan and allow to heatIMG_6233
  2. Line the saucepan base and sides with potato rounds
  3. Put one layer of broad bean rice into the saucepan
  4. Add a layer of dill and garlic/onion mix
  5. Place another layer of broad bean rice on top and so on until both the broad bean rice and dill are used
  6. Using the chop stick (or wooden spoon handle) gouge 3 vents into the rice mix, to enable air to escape from the base of the pan
  7. Cook with the lid off for 10 mins on medium heat
  8. Place a tea towel around the lid of the saucepan
  9. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting
  10. Cook for 20 mins

Step 6: Serve

  1. Before serving, dish the rice out into a bowl
  2. Place the potoato and crisp rice onto the top of the rice mound
  3. Pour the saffron butter mixture over the top

Best served with yoghurt with chopped mint and cucumber!

Serves lots of people for plenty of days. This dish tastes even better the next day. Don’t expect the potato pieces to last longer than 5 mins. I have to fight my family off so that I can at least set the table and admire them.

Cut the potato roundsBoiled rice and broad beansFrying potatoes on the base of the panLayer rice and broad beansLayer broad beans and dill mix

Cover the saucepan lid with a tea towelYoghurt, mint and cucumber on the sideThe perfect potato! Delish

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