Baghali Polo

Dill is traditionally used in Iranian cooking and it gives this lamb and rice dish a delicious aroma. Baghali Polo may be served as a main dish for lunch or dinner and is usually accompanied by a large bowl of chilled yogurt. You may also serve a tomato, cucumber and onion salad, made with a sharp dressing.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 lb. lean, boned lamb, cut into

1-inch cubes

2 onions, sliced

12 fl. oz. water

1 teaspoon salt teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in water for minutes and drained

1 lb. fresh or frozen Lima or broad beans

3 oz. butter, melted

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or

2 teaspoons dried dill

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the lamb cubes, a few at a time, As they brown, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Add the Anions to the casserole and fry them for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are brown.

Return the lamb to the casserole and mix in ½ teaspoon salt, the cinnamon, pepper and water. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.

Put the lamb, onion and cooking liquid into a bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the rice and remaining salt, parboil for 11 minutes and drain. In the same pan parboil the beans for 10 to 15 minutes or 1 minute if the beans are frozen.

Pour the butter into the casserole and put half the rice, beans and dill on top. With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb and onions to the casserole. Spread the remaining beans, dill and rice on top of the meat and pour over the liquid in which the lamb was cooked.

Put the casserole over high heat and bring to the boil.

Remove the casserole, cover it and put it in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid absorbed. Serve immediately.

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