Iranian Rice with Beans and Dill Weed (Baqala Polo)
This is one of the most amazing dishes I've ever eaten. Rich and savory!
- 3 cups long-grain rice, well-rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup melted margarine
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tbs warm water (optional)
- 1 lb frozen lima beans
- 1/4 cup dried dill weed, or 3/4 cup fresh
- 1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen
- 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons margarine or oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup soy yogurt
Cook lima beans until done.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Add rice to water.
Boil 5-10 minutes , until rice is no longer crunchy, but still firm.
Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Drain rice in colander.
Mix beans and dill weed with the rice.
Put half of the melted margarine in the bottom of the rice pot.
Put the rice back into the pot, a spoonful at a time, heaping it into a mound, not touching sides of pot.
With a chopstick or similar tool, poke holes in the rice in several places.
Pour the remaining melted margarine over the rice.
Cover the underside of the pot lid with a dish towel, and put lid tightly on pot.
Cook rice about 20 minutes over medium heat, then turn heat to low, and cook for another 30 minutes.
The rice on the bottom of the pot should become golden and crispy.
Soak bottom of pot in cold water for a few minutes, to loosen this.
Put rice onto a serving platter, surrounded by chunks of crispy rice.
Take 2/3 cup of the rice, mix it with the dissolved saffron, and sprinkle over the rest of the rice as a garnish.
Cook spinach in lightly salted water until tender
Drain well. Chop. Set aside.
Heat margarine or oil in a pan.
Add onions, and fry until golden.
Add spinach and fry together briefly.
Turn off heat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Transfer to serving bowl or dish.
Mix in soy yogurt.