Green Pea and Dill Rice is a delicious Persian dish that is traditionally served alongside saffron-infused chicken or lamb, creating a perfect harmony of flavours.
Derived from the classic Baghali Polo, a traditional Iranian dish featuring broad beans and dill, Green Pea and Dill Rice offers a delightful twist by incorporating the freshness of peas into the recipe. This quick-fix variation presents a convenient and mouthwatering alternative to the original preparation, adding a burst of colour and a subtle sweetness to the dish.
The star ingredient, dill, brings a unique herbal essence that elevates the overall taste profile of the rice. Its fragrant aroma pairs wonderfully with the peas, creating a combination that is both visually appealing and satisfying to the palate.
When served with saffron-infused chicken or lamb, the flavours of the Green Pea and Dill Rice are further enhanced. The saffron imparts a golden hue and a delicate floral taste to the meat, perfectly complementing the earthy and refreshing notes of the rice. The result is a harmonious ensemble of flavours that will leave you craving for more.
Whether you’re hosting a special occasion or simply looking to add a touch of elegance to your everyday meals, Green Pea and Dill Rice is a fantastic choice. Its versatility makes it an excellent accompaniment to a variety of proteins, including chicken, lamb, or even turkey.
Enjoy the colourful and aromatic world of Persian cuisine by indulging in the delightful Green Pea and Dill Rice. With its combination of fresh peas, fragrant dill, and saffron-infused meat, this dish is sure to become a favourite on your dining table, adding a burst of flavours and a touch of sophistication to any meal.
Basic Ingredients for Green Pea and Dill Rice
Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is a long-grain rice known for its distinct aroma and delicate flavour. It serves as the base of the dish, providing a fluffy and fragrant texture to the rice.
Salt: Salt is used to enhance the flavour of the rice during the soaking and cooking process. It adds a savoury element to the dish.
Frozen Green Peas: Green peas bring a pop of colour, sweetness, and a slightly crisp texture to the rice. They provide a refreshing and vibrant component to the dish.
Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for frying the potatoes and for sautéing the rice. It adds moisture and prevents sticking, resulting in evenly cooked and flavorful rice.
Butter: Butter is used both for frying the potatoes and for flavouring the rice. It adds richness, depth of flavour, and a creamy texture to the dish.
Potatoes: Thinly sliced potatoes are fried until crispy and serve as a delicious garnish. They add a satisfying crunch and an additional layer of texture to the rice.
Fresh Dill: Dill is the star herb in this dish, providing a distinctive and aromatic flavour. It adds a fresh and slightly tangy taste that pairs well with the other ingredients.
Saffron: Saffron threads are used to infuse the rice with a delicate and floral flavour. They also give a vibrant yellow colour to the rice, enhancing its visual appeal.
- Ensure you wash and rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch and achieve fluffy grains.
- Soaking the rice in salted water helps to enhance its flavour and aids in achieving the desired texture during cooking.
- Parboiling the rice before layering ensures that it is partially cooked, resulting in a tender yet firm texture in the final dish.
- Serve the Green Pea and Dill Rice as a side dish alongside Saffron Chicken or Saffron Lamb. Prepare salad Shirazi and mast-o-khiar for a complete meal.
- Garnish with fresh dill sprigs or additional saffron threads for an appealing presentation.
- Leftover rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat the rice in a microwave or on the stovetop, adding a sprinkle of water to prevent it from drying out.
- The crispy potato garnish is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored separately in a cool and dry place to maintain its crunchiness.
Green Pea and Dill Rice
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 500 g frozen green peas
- 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp and 2 tbsp butter (separate)
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced / Arabic bread
- 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.
- 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 the 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 green peas and dill. Repeat the steps with another layer of a third of the parboiled rice and the rest of the green peas 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 a 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 absorbs all the excess condensed liquid and allows the rice to become fluffy); cook for about 45–50 minutes.
- Serve with saffron chicken, 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.