Baghala polo (steamed rice with lamb, dill and lima beans

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 tablespoons Butter
1 medium Onion; peeled and cut into
;1/4 inch thick slices
3 pounds Boneless lamb shoulder, lean
;trimmed of excess fat and
;cut into 2 inch cubes
3 cups Water
1 tablespoon Salt
2 cups Iranian rice, imported; or
;other uncooked long grain
;white rice, soaked and
4 cups Dill, fresh; finely cut
1 pounds Baby lima beans, shelled; or
;2 ten oz. packages of froz.
;baby lima beans thoroughly
8 tablespoons Butter; melted
¼ teaspoon Saffron threads; pulverized
;with a mortar and pestle or
;with the back of a spoon,
;and dissolved in 1 tbsp.
;warm water

In a heavy 3 to 4 quart casserole, with a tightly fitting lid, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the slices are richly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate.

A half dozen pieces or so at a time, brown the lamb cubes in the fat remaining in the casserole, turning them with tongs or a spoon and regulating the heat so that they color deeply and evenly without burning. As they brown, transfer the cubes of lamb to the plate with the onions.

Pour the 3 cups of water into the casserole and bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile scraping in the brown particles clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the lamb and onion to the casserole, add the salt, and reduce the heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the lamb is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Transfer the lamb, onions and all the cooking liquid to a large bowl and set the casserole aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a 5 to 6 quart saucepan. Pour in the rice in a slow, thin stream so the water does not stop boiling. Stir once or twice, boil briskly for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, stir in the dill and lima beans and drain in a fine sieve.

Ladle about half of the rice mixture into the casserole and moisten it with « cup of the lamb cooking liquid. Then with a spatula or spoon spread the rice mixture to the edges of the pan. With a slotted spoon return the lamb and onions to the casserole and smooth them over the rice.

Then spread the remaining rice mixture on top. Combine 2 tablespoons of the melted butter with 6 tablespoons of the lamb broth and pour it over the rice. Bring the casserole to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the casserole.

To serve, spoon about a cup of the rice mixture into a small bowl, add the dissolved saffron and stir until the rice is bright yellow.

Spread about half the remaining rice on a heated platter and arrange the lamb over it. Cover the lamb with the rest of the plain rice mixture and garnish it with the saffron rice. Pour the remaining 6 tablespoons of melted butter over the top.

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Source: Time Life Series: Middle Eastern Cooking "circa 69" MMed by: earl.cravens@...

Submitted By EARL CRAVENS On 03-24-95

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