Persian Recipe: Dill & Fava Polow

  • 3 Cups basmati rice
  • 2 lbs fresh favas, shelled and skinned
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 4 Tbsp hot water
  • 5 1/2 Cups coarsly chopped fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 12 Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup leeks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Toss the herbs together with the cinnamon and garlic in a bowl and reserve.

Cook rice and favas: In a large nonstick pot, bring 10 cups water, salt and turmeric to a boil. Add the rice and favas and boil hard for 6 – 10 minutes, gently stirring twice to loosen any grains on the bottom. Once the rice rises to the top of the pot, it is done. Drain the rice and rinse with warm water.

Take the tahdiq: In a bow, whisk together 4 tbsp ghee, 1/2 cup water, 2 big scoops of the rice mixture, the yogurt, and 1 Tbsp of the saffron water. Spread this mixture down on the bottom of the nonstick pot. (nonstick is VERY important)

Assemble: place 2 spatulas full of rice and beans in the pot. Add a spatula full of herbs and garlic. Repeat, alternating layers of rice and beans with the herbs and garlic, mounding ingredients into the shape of a pyramid.

First Cook: cover the pot and cook rice mixture for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Second Cook: Mix 1 cup cold water with 4 tbsp ghee and pour over rice and beans. Sprinkle on the remaining saffron water. Place a dish towel over the pot to absorg condensation and cover firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping. Reduce the heat to low and cook 50 minutes longer (take care that the towel doesn’t burn)

Cool: remove the pot from the heat and place it, still covered, on a damp surface for 5 minutes to cool slightly and to loosen the crust.

Serve: remove the lid, hold a serving platter tightly over the pot and invert the two together, unmolding the entire mound on the platter. It should come out as golden crusted cake. Garnish with flowers and herbs.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Seattle writer, Judy Schwartz Haley, blogs about raising a toddler while battling cancer, finishing a degree, and fending off ninjas. Also, she needs more coffee.
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