Bogoli Pulao (broad bean rice with dill, served with chicken or lamb)

(serves 6)

This is such a scrumdiddlyumptious recipe that I would be quite happy to have it two or three times a week. But I don’t because that would be both sad and greedy. And I suppose you can have enough of a good thing – well that’s what they keep telling me anyway. Apart from cuddles and lollypops that is – there definitely aren’t enough of either in the world.

Anyway, I will point out the obvious which is that a liking for this dish entirely depends on your standpoint on broad beans, and some people are unaccountably less than fond of them – so unless you are having a solo broad bean feast, do check with your guests first. But then that applies to anything really and they should jolly have what they are given and like it.

As with so many Persian dishes, the chicken is just a garnish and can easily be substituted for a moist vegetarian concoction.


  • 2 bags 400g frozen broad beans, defrosted (or about 2-3kg fresh)
  • 6 cups basmati rice
  • butter or ghee
  • 1 cup dried dill
  • saffron, ground and steeped in water
  • 1 chicken, skinned and washed
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 level teaspoons turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 dried limes
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1 can chick peas, drained


Firstly, shuck your broad beans. Wash the rice and bring it to the boil in a pan of water. Drain, and then melt a little butter/ghee in the pan: mix the rice with the dill and then layer it back into the pan alternating with the broad beans. Poke a few fumeroles down through the mixture to the bottom using the handle of a wooden spoon, and then wrap the lid in a tea towel and set the ‘pulao’ to cook on a low heat. If you are using a rice cooker, just add the beans in with the rice at the beginning and then stir the dill through just before serving.

Pop the chicken into a saucepan together with the onion, cover with water, sprinkle in the turmeric and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Rinse and prick the dried limes and drop these in too. Set the pan to simmer. After twenty minutes or so cut the potatoes into quarters and lower them into the chicken stock followed by the chick peas; cook the chicken through for another twenty minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Turn off the rice and allow it to sit for a few moments (you can do the same if you wish), before turning it out on to a serving plate. Crack the ‘tahdik’ or crust which will have formed, and trickle the steeped saffron over the rice mixing it lightly with a spoon. Dish the chicken and potatoes on to a plate and ladle the citrussy, beany stock into a separate bowl. Serve with raw onion, yoghurt and fresh herbs, and most importantly torshi – this dish really needs pickles as an accompaniment.

NB: Another popular dish in Iran is ‘Sib Pulao’ – potato rice. It is made in just the same way as the bogoli rice, but substituting tiny cubes of potato for the broad beans