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Ultimate Guide to Making Baghali Polo: Persian Broad Bean and Dill Rice Recipe

Baghali Polo, a quintessential dish in Persian cuisine, marries the subtle elegance of basmati rice with the hearty flavours of broad beans and the fresh and dried dill, creating a symphony of tastes and textures that is both comforting and luxurious. his fragrant rice dish, bursting with the freshness of dill and the subtle sweetness of broad beans, is a comforting staple and a true celebration of cultural heritage.

More than just a plate of rice, Baghali Polo embodies the unique culinary traditions of Iran. The meticulous layering of fluffy basmati rice, vibrant green broad beans, and aromatic dill creates a visual masterpiece that entices the senses before the first bite. The golden touch of saffron adds a touch of sophistication, while the crispy potato base adds a delightful textural contrast.

Whether enjoyed as a main course or a fragrant accompaniment to other Saffron Lamb Shanks or Saffron Chicken, Baghali Polo offers a delightful journey through the heart of Persian flavours. This recipe not only guides you through the process of creating this culinary gem but also unveils a glimpse into the rich culinary tapestry of Iran. So, embark on this culinary adventure and experience the magic of Baghali Polo firsthand!

Basic Ingredients for Baghali Polo

Baghali Polo:

Basmati Rice: The foundation of Baghali Polo, basmati rice is chosen for its long grains, fragrant aroma, and ability to become fluffy without sticking. Its texture complements the other ingredients, providing a delicate base for the bold flavors.

Salt: Salt is essential in bringing out the flavours of the dish. It is used in the rice soaking process to help the grains absorb water uniformly, ensuring they cook evenly and enhance their texture.

Broad Beans (Baghali): Broad beans add a creamy texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavour. They are a source of protein and fibre, making the dish more nutritious and satisfying.

Vegetable Oil and Butter: These fats are used for cooking and layering the dish, adding richness, enhancing flavours, and preventing the rice from sticking. Butter adds a savoury depth, while vegetable oil ensures a lighter texture.

Potatoes: Thinly sliced potatoes at the bottom of the pot create a crispy, golden crust known as ‘tahdig,’ a prized component in Persian cuisine for its texture and flavour.

Dill: Fresh or dried, dill adds a fresh, aromatic quality to the dish, complementing the beans and rice with its distinctive, slightly tangy flavour.

Saffron: Known for its luxurious aroma and golden hue, saffron imparts a subtle earthiness and a hint of sweetness, elevating the dish’s overall sensory profile.

alternative ingredients

Rice: While basmati is traditional, jasmine rice can be an alternative, offering a similar fragrance and texture.

Broad Beans: If unavailable, lima beans or edamame can serve as substitutes, providing a similar texture and mild flavour.

Dill: While fresh dill is preferred for its vibrant flavour, dried dill or even fennel fronds can be alternatives in a pinch.

Preparation Tips for Baghali Polo

  • Rice Washing: Rinse the rice until the water runs clear to remove excess starch, which helps prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
  • Soaking Rice: This step is crucial for achieving the perfect texture, allowing the grains to expand to their full length and cook evenly.
  • Layering: Ensure that the rice, beans, and dill are evenly distributed in layers for a consistent flavour in every bite.

Serving Tips for Baghali Polo

  • Serve Baghali Polo hot, ideally with a side of protein like saffron chicken or lamb shanks to complement the flavours.
  • Invert the pot when serving to showcase the crispy tahdig, presenting it as the centrepiece of your dish.

storage tips

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently, adding a little water or butter to prevent drying out.

Baghali Polo can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat thoroughly before serving.

Baghali Polo (Broad Bean and Dill Rice)

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Soaking Time: 1 hour


  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • salt
  • 500 g frozen broad beans, (baghali)
  • vegetable oil
  • butter
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 bunch fresh dill (finely chopped), or 1 cup dried dill
  • a pinch of ground saffron


  • Wash and rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in 6 cups of cold water mixed with 6 tablespoons of salt, and set aside for a couple of hours. Drain but don’t rinse the rice. Make sure that you don’t use your hand or a utensil during this process. Basmati rice is very delicate and can easily break.
  • Thaw the frozen broad beans in water, and remove skin from each broad bean.
  • In a large non-stick pot, add 6–8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and bring to a boil. Add the drained rice to the boiling water, and cook the rice for about 7 minutes until it is parboiled or al dente—the grain needs to be soft from the outside and firm in the centre. Drain and rinse the parboiled rice in cold water.
  • Wash and dry the pot. In same pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil; then arrange the potato slices in a single circular layer and fry on high heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Begin to layer the pot with a third of the parboiled rice, followed by a layer of half of the broad beans and dill. Repeat the steps with another layer of a third of the parboiled rice and the rest of the broad beans and dill. The final layer should be the remaining parboiled rice.Make three holes in the layers of the rice with the handle of a spatula or wooden spoon.
  • In a small cup, mix half cup of hot water with 3 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of saffron; sprinkle the mixture over the rice. Once the rice starts to steam wrap the pot lid with a towel and then reduce the heat to low (this absorb all the excess condensed liquid and allows the rice to become fluffy); cook for about 45–50 minutes.
  • Serve with saffron chicken or saffron lamb shanks, and don’t forget the crispy and crunchy potatoes at the bottom of the pot, it is usually the most sought after part of the dish.


Tip: Alternatively, you can use dried broad beans instead of frozen broad beans—just make sure to soak overnight.

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