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Baghali Polo (Persian Dill and Fava Bean Rice)

Baghali Polo is a flavorful Iranian rice dish that combines the fresh taste of dill with basmati rice, saffron and fava beans. See why it’s a popular Persian side dish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iran
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 405kcal


  • Cooking pot
  • Stove top


  • 1 tsp saffron
  • ¼ tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup Fava Beans peeled
  • ¼ cup dried dill or ½ cup fresh dill
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 potatoes sliced into rounds about ½” thick
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste


To Make the Saffron Water

  • Use a mortar and pestle to grind 1 tsp saffron down into pieces. Add ¼ tsp sugar and grind again until a fine powder is formed.
  • Add the mixture into a glass (or heat safe) jar. Add ¼ cup of boiling water into the jar.
  • Mix to combine, and allow the saffron to steep for at least 5 minutes. Set aside until you are ready to use it.

Baghali Polo Instructions

  • Place 1 ½ cups dried Basmati rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for up to 3 hours, but at a minimum 30 minutes. Then pour off the water.
  • Salt a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup peeled fava beans. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the soaked rice into the pot along with 2 tbsp of dried dill. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked all the way.
  • Remove about ½ cup of the cooked rice and rinse. Add 3 tbsp of saffron water into the reserved rice and mix to fully combine.
  • Add the remaining dill into the unreserved rice still in the pot and stir to combine.
  • Peel three potatoes and cut them into thick slices.
  • Add a thin layer of oil into the bottom of your large pot. Add the sliced potatoes as the bottom layer, then add the reserved saffron rice as the next layer. Add the remaining dill rice.
  • Use the back of a spoon to poke holes in the rice, then drizzle ¼ cup of water over the top. You can also sprinkle with another 1-2 tbsp of the saffron oil and add the ½ tsp cinnamon (optional) if desired.
  • Wrap the lid in a kitchen towel and place firmly on top of the pot. Allow to cook on low heat for another 40 minutes
  • When done, flip the contents of the pot onto a serving platter. Melt 4 tbsp butter and pour over the rice. Enjoy!


Recipe Copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.
  • Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is filling and not sticky like sushi rice. It’s fluffy with a very light flavor that allows it to soak up the flavor of added herbs.
  • Dill: Dill, or shevid, is full of nutrients and antioxidants and has a flavor that is what makes this dish special. You can use fresh dill weed or dried dill for this recipe. If you’re using fresh chopped dill, try to remove as much liquid as possible and let the herb dry overnight before cutting. While fresh ingredients are always nice, dried dill won’t clump in your rice.
  • Fava Beans: You can use fresh, frozen or dried beans. If you use fresh beans, be sure and keep an eye on them while cooking. Fresh beans become soft very quickly. If you have trouble finding fava beans you could substitute baby lima beans.
  • Potatoes: The potatoes at the bottom of the pot cook in oil and form a crispy crust for the dish called tahdig. Some recipes leave the potatoes out but I feel like they add the perfect amount of crunch.
  • Dried dill works best for sprinkling over the rice without it clumping. Some people prefer to use more dill for a stronger flavor. That’s up to you!
  • Try not to overcook your rice. It should hold its shape and still have some white in the center. Between soaking, boiling and baking, the rice won’t be crunchy by the end, but you do not want it to be soggy.
  • The cinnamon is optional but the combination of the cinnamon with the saffron and dill is really something special.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 900mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 815IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 6mg