It was a Saturday afternoon and I had been feeling poorly. It must have been 1990 (I remember, as this was when Stars in their eyes first appeared on our TV screens). My dad and I were sat on our blue velour sofa (well he was and I was sat on his lap) in the front room of our flint house watching Stars in their Eyes and shelling broad beans to make Baghalie Polo. I loved doing this little task with him especially as he used to let me eat the beans that I managed not to crush! It is surprising the damage that tiny hands can do to the beans when attempting to get them out of their shells!
Rice is the main staple in Persian cooking and Baghalie Polo is a popular and widely eaten variation. My version uses dried ‘Shivin’ (dill) alongside finely sliced fresh garlic and chives. The addition of the dried dill really seasons and deepens the flavour of the fresh herbs and adds a freshness to it that is great served with fresh fish or a rich Khorest.
As a child, this wasn’t my favourite rice to eat as it can be quite bitter however as an adult I absolutely adore it. The shelling of the broad beans is really therapeutic and a great fun way of getting my 3-year-old to help cook. He loves it when they pop right out of the shell and go flying out of his hands or equally when he manages to squish one or 20!
You can serve this with my ‘Payeh Bareh’ (Persian Leg of Lamb) which you will find the recipe for under ‘Meat’ on my website or simply with a crispy fried runny egg. There is no greater comfort food than that! The egg yolk acts as a rich sauce to the rice and the flavours work perfectly. Simple and delicious.
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4 cups of basmati rice
Salt to taste
1 cup of dried dill
1 cup of chopped fresh chives
3 cloves of finely sliced fresh garlic
2 cups of fresh shelled broad beans – I always use frozen and defrost before shelling as they taste fresher and the colour is a much deeper green.
Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan along with 1.5 cups of water to every cup of rice.
Stir and cook for 45 minutes until a tadig forms. Stir after 15 minutes to ensure the herbs are mixed in with the rice.
Turn out and simply enjoy with a runny egg! Nooshe Jaan!