Baghali Polo: How To Make Persian Baghali Polo

Baghali Polo is the famous Persian fava bean, dill, and rice dish. It is a traditional favorite and a popular item on restaurant menus in Persia, known today as Iran. In Persian, Baghali implies fava bean while polo is pilaf, a type of cooked rice. 

It is made in boiling water by cooking rice and white, broad beans together. The rice and beans, when cooked, are layered in a pan with dill, and all are baked in an oven until ready. You can add saffron water to the rice, too. This dish is usually served with different kinds of meat.

Iran has a rich gastronomic past, and rice is at the core of Persian cooking culture. Rice was probably introduced from India to Iran during the 6th Century BC rule of Darius the Great. It has become a staple food item for Iranians over time.

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Persian Baghali Polo

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Iranian

Baghali Polo is a fluffy and fragrant rice dish that combines the good flavors of dill, basmati rice, and saffron with soft beans. Everything topped off with a delicious golden crunchy crust.

The whole preparation and cooking time is 2 hours. This recipe is suitable for at least 10 servings. 

Persian Baghali Polo Ingredients

  • 4 cups white basmati rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • 14 oz frozen baby green lima beans or fresh young fava beans, shelled and steamed until tender
  • 3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh chopped dill, or more to taste

Persian Baghali Polo Instructions

Step 1: Rinse the rice with cold water in a colander for a minute. Pour the rice into a medium mixing bowl and cover with about 2 inches of cold water. Let the rice soak for 90 minutes.

Step 2: Next, drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water again, then shake off the excess water.

Step 3: Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a 5 quarter non-stick pot. It is necessary to use a pot with a non-stick surface. Add the rice, beans, and butter. Next, you can stir the mixture. Let the mixture boil for 8 minutes, uncovered at medium-high. Stir the rice periodically while cooking.

Step 4: While the rice is cooking, use a mortar and pestle to break the saffron. In the mortar, pour 1/2 cup of hot water and let the saffron soak.

Step 5: After boiling for 8 minutes, pour the rice into a colander, rinse with lukewarm water, then drain.

Step 6: Rinse the pot and dry it, then put it back on the burner. In the colander, pour the fresh chopped dill into the rice, making sure it is well mixed all over the rice.

Step 7:  Stir together 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, half of the saffron water, and 1 1/2 cup of the cooked rice in the medium mixing bowl. Spread the oil and rice mixture over the bottom of the pot in an even layer. This is going to be your tahdig or crust layer.

Step 8: Scoop the rest of the rice out of the colander and into the bowl, making a mound in the center of the pot in the shape of a volcano. Make a hole with the handle of a wooden spoon in the center, bringing it close to the bottom of the pot.

Step 9: Place a towel over the top of the pot, but be careful not to let the towel get too close to the source of heat. Place the cover stiffly above the towel top.

Step 10: Turn it on to medium heat and let the rice steam for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, mix the remaining saffron water with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Remove the towel and lid from the pot after 10 minutes, and pour the mixture of saffron oil evenly over the top of the rice. Replace towel and lid. Switch to low heat. Let the mixture steam longer for 45-50 minutes. Then serve when it is finished cooking.

Persian Baghali Polo Additional Information

  • You may serve the dish by scooping the rice out of the pot and piling it onto a serving plate or tray. This will leave a thin layer of rice at the bottom of the pot untouched.
  • This dish will take about 2 hours to prepare. 
  • This recipe will make enough to serve 10 people.
  • You can also remove the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot using a spatula. Next, arrange the pieces around the cooked rice. You can also garnish the dish, if needed, with some additional fresh dill.

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About Persian Baghali Polo

In Persian cuisine, rice plays an undeniable role. Go to a Persian restaurant, and you can hardly order a meal with no rice. Although it has historically been the main staple item in northern Iran and bread has been considered the dominant staple in other regions, a rice-based diet is commonly used throughout the country nowadays.

The number of forms of rice and also the methods of cooking it in Iran are amazing. You can find specialist shops (in the northern cities in particular) that sell nothing but rice. In these shops, it is not only the form and price of the rice that matters but also the age of it.


If you want to start learning about the cuisine in Iran, begin by studying the importance of rice in their culture.

For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @bahadorbourbouriofficial /, @ashpazi_roozane /