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Rice Cooker Baghali Polo (Fava Bean and Dill Rice)

Rice Cooker Baghali Polo (Fava Bean and Dill Rice)

In this rice cooker baghali polo, the fragrant basmati rice cooks effortlessly mixed with delicate earthy flavored fresh dill and buttery fava beans. We’re not talking about just any rice cooker, it has to be a Persian rice cooker. My Pars rice cooker is the most useful appliance in my kitchen and cooks rice to perfection every single time. It’s a bit pricey, but worth every penny. I love how I can measure all the ingredients and add them to the rice cooker pot and not have to worry about timing the cooking process or burning the rice, not to mention the beautiful tadig it makes every time! All Persian rice dishes can be made in a rice cooker with minimal effort and mess.

I made this baghali polo few months ago when fresh fava beans were available. I probably bought over a pound of fresh fava beans and by the time I shelled them, I ended up with one cup. I also used fresh dill in this recipe. The easiest way to clean dill is to make one cut across the bunched up stems. It’s totally fine to leave some longer stems as long as they are tender. Tender stems add so much more flavor to your dish. During washing you can always snap off the tougher stems if you see any.

Shelling fava beans is a tedious and time-consuming process, but it’s really worth all that effort, trust me. Nothing compares to the taste of freshly shelled fava beans. Most of the times, I buy the frozen shelled ones, but they tend to fall apart quickly and have to be added toward the end of cooking. The fresh ones can be cooked with the rice and won’t fall apart. If you have never shelled these beans before, here is a great video that shows you the process. If you end up with few real large beans, just cut them in half lengthwise and squeeze each half to pop the bean out.


Once you have all your ingredients ready, combine all the rice ingredients except saffron and fava beans in the rice cooker. Cover the rice cooker and plug it in. I used a regular measuring cup for this recipe. The cup packaged with the Persian rice cooker is smaller than the standard U.S. measuring cup. If you use the cup that comes with your rice cooker, adjust the rest of the ingredients.

Turn the rice cooker on and start the cooking cycle following the manufacturer’s timing. Ten minutes into cooking, gently stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon to combine them. You may have to do this a few times to thoroughly mix the dill with rice, otherwise the dill might clump together.

Half way through cooking, about 30 minutes with my rice cooker, stir in the fava beans and continue the cycle.

If you don’t own a rice cooker, use the kateh method. Combine the rice, salt, olive oil, butter, garlic, dill and 3½ cups cold water in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Then uncover and cook on medium heat until most of the water evaporates. The rice will be half cooked at this point. Stir in the lima beans, cover and cook for about 40 minutes. 

When rice is ready, unplug the rice cooker. Dissolve saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water and pour over the rice. Place a round serving platter on top of the rice cooker. Using pot holders, firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together.

Chicken tender

You can serve baghali polo with mahi, pan-fried salmon, braised chicken breasts, braised chicken thighs or braised beef. To make a quick and tasty chicken tender to go with this rice follow the recipe below.

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil. Add a pinch of ground saffron and either a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill or 1 teaspoon of dry dill weed. Dried dill packs a stronger and more condensed flavor. Place the chicken tenders over the onion mixture, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. I used frozen chicken tenders and didn’t need to add any water. If you use fresh chicken tenders, add ¼ cup water and cook on low heat. You can cook your chicken while the rice is cooking.

Rice Cooker Baghali Polo

 

Rice Cooker Baghali Polo (Fava Bean and Dill Rice)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For Rice:

2 bunches fresh dill chopped (2 cups)
1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans or 1/2 pound frozen lima beans
2 cups long grain basmati rice washed and drained
3½ cups cold water
2 tablespoons regular olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)

For Chicken Tenders:

1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tablespoons regular olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh or dry dill
8 chicken tenders

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all the rice ingredients except saffron and fava beans in the rice cooker. Cover the rice cooker and plug it in. Turn the machine on and start the cooking cycle following the manufacturer’s timing. Ten minutes into cooking, gently stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon to combine them. You may have to do this a few times to thoroughly mix the dill with rice.

Half way through cooking, about 30 minutes with my rice cooker, stir in the fava beans and continue the cycle.

When rice is ready, unplug the rice cooker. Dissolve saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water and pour over the rice. Place a round serving platter on top of the rice cooker. Using pot holders, firmly grab the serving platter and the pot flipping them over together.

To cook chicken tenders:

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Stir in ground saffron and fresh or dry dill. Add chicken tenders and water to the onion mixture. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. If using frozen chicken skip the water.

You can serve Rice Cooker Baghali Polo with mahi, pan-fried salmon, braised chicken breasts, braised chicken thighs or braised beef.