Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Mina Simeena Mithl 3ajeena" - Persian Dill & Lima Bean Rice

Photo credit to theshiksa.com

If you know Arabic, you can understand what the title means but not sure why I've put it. And if you don't know Arabic, you're just staring at a yummy photo of rice - and that might be enough :)

Basically, while I was a child growing up, I used to be very chubby and my skin was very white so my family decided to make a little jingle that goes like, "Mina Simeena mithl 3ajeena" which translates to, Chubby Mina like flour (cooking flour). I guess it was fine to call me chubby because it was in a song, right? 

So I decided it would only be appropriate to give praise to the yummy dishes that I used to feast on growing up, and still do enjoy them occasionally. I mean after all, there was a song involved so I think it's necessary...

The first dish that comes to mind is Persian Dill & Lima Bean Rice with Chicken and a cucumber/yogurt salad. The title self-explains what the dish consists of. So simple but so tasty. But let me tell you that the rice is the star of the dish. I used to always gobble up just the rice with the salad on top, and sometimes without, and be a happy camper. I always tell my mom when she's making it, the more dill, the better. It makes the rice greener, give beautiful fragrance and the taste is just unbeatable. I absolutely love this herb - it always livens up a dish, even with chicken, salmon and vegetables.

In Persian, this dish is called Baghali Polo, similar to Arabic as we say Timan o Baghila, meaning Rice and Lima Beans. One prized bit about this dish is the crispy part of the rice at the bottom of the pot which is actually not as easy as I thought to get perfectly. I know that in Iranian cooking, they like to add saffron to the bottom to get a yellow tinge crust which makes it look even more appealing when you unveil the rice upside down from the pot to your serving dish. The crispy part in Persian is known as tahdig and in Arabic, hakaaka. It is said that the talent of the cook is measured on their ability to produce quality tahdig/hakaaka. No pressure?

Photo credit to theshiksa.com

Have you guys tried this dish before? What dishes take you back to your childhood?

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