This delectable dish comes from the sublime Najmieh Batmanglij’s book, Food of Life. I made it with some success for a recent dinner party on a day when I felt little inspiration. Najmieh always cheers my mind and appetite.
Her recipe calls for dried peeled yellow fava beans, which I happened to have. Hegui picked them up at Mi Pueblo long before I’d considered this dish. She uses a special Persian spice mix for rice called advieh. The recipe can be found towards the end of the book, so I prepared my own. Made from cardamom, cumin, rose petal and cinnamon, it was quite aromatic. Since Hegui isn’t too into cinnamon, I reduced the total amount in my advieh and left out the additional ½ teaspoon that’s recommended for the yellow rice.
You’re supposed to use a non-stick pot and allow the rice on the bottom to burn and caramelize a bit. When you plate, you carefully remove the rice, which is served in a large platter in a cone shape with the garnish. Then you remove the burned crust and offer it on the side. I don’t have that kind of pan so omitted the extended cooking at low temperature and stirred my rice to try to prevent sticking. Too bad. The crust sounds quite interesting.
My only real objection to the recipe, since it was fabulous, is that she writes it “makes 6 servings.” This is absurd. I could have fed an army with the amount of finished rice. So be warned.
basmati rice with dried yellow fava beans
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly
2 to 3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp turmeric
2cups dried yellow hulled favas
1 tbsp or more salt
black pepper to taste
1 tsp advieh or Persian spice mix
½ cup olive oil
raisins and fried eggs for garnish
Soak beans in water for at least two hours or more.
In a deep pot, brown onions in vegetable oil, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add turmeric, soaked rinsed beans and warm water to cover (she says 7 cups). Bring to boil then simmer for about thirty minutes to cook beans. Add salt, black pepper and rinsed rice. Simmer for another 20 minutes to cook rice. Sprinkle advieh onto cooked rice then pour olive oil over it. Cover and let rest off the heat for about ten minutes.
Plate rice on a large platter forming a cone shape. Decorate with raisins and fried eggs.