(Persia Digest) – Baghala Polo or Baghali Polo, is one of many sumptuous rice dishes of the Persian kitchen which is served on all occasions and at large, formal gatherings with lamb.

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 cups rice

300g leg of lamb

3 tbsp dried dill weed

1 cup broad beans

5 cloves of garlic

3 medium-sized onions

2 tsp ground, dissolved saffron

1 stick cinnamon

Turmeric, salt, and pepper to taste

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Dice and wash the lamb. Slice the onions and caramelize with a little oil and 2 tbsp of butter. Add the lamb to the onions. Lower the heat, cover the pan and allow the lamb to cook for ten minutes before turning it over.

Chop 3 cloves of garlic and add to the lamb with the salt, pepper and turmeric. Add a stick of cinnamon and cover the lamb with water. Allow 1 to 3 hours cooking time until the lamb is soft and the juices are absorbed (add water during cooking time if necessary.)

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add some salt and oil. When the water is boiling, add the washed and drained rice and allow to simmer on low heat until soft on the outside, but not cooked through. Drain the rice and rinse with warm water.

Skin the broad beans out of their pods and second skins and wash. These can be soaked for a few hours to soften them up if necessary. Pour some oil in a frying pan, add the beans with the two chopped cloves of garlic, and sauté for a couple of minutes. When the beans have softened a little, add the drained rice and dried dill weed and remove from heat.

Cover the bottom of a large pan with oil and place a layer of your favorite “tah dig” [crust] on top, such as thin flat bread, thin slices of raw potato, rice, etc. Place the mixture of rice, dill weed, and broad beans in the pan and shape the rice into a pyramid. Make a few holes in the rice with a spoon. Turn up the heat for a few minutes for the vapors to rise, then turn it down to low heat. Bring a glass of water and half a glass of oil to the boil together and pour over the rice. Cover the lid with a terry towel, place over the pan and allow the rice to steam until cooked.

Place on a dish when cooked. Mix two spatulas of rice with the saffron separately and dish out over the rest of the rice. Serve with the lamb.

Bon Appetit!

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