There are different recipes for this rice and beans dish and the difference basically depends on one's tastes and preferences. Some would add a tablespoon of tomato paste or fresh chopped tomatoes. Some serve it with fried eggs (sunny side up) and some people prefer it hot. It may also be served with lamb shanks. The following recipe is how I like to make and serve dami baghali in our home, simple with no meat and with caramelized onions on top. I also like to use equal portions of rice and fava beans. However, it is more common to use anywhere from 1/2 cup to two cups more rice than fava beans. Instead of increasing the amount of rice you may reduce the fava beans to 1 1/2 cups in this recipe if you like.
2 cups white long grain rice
2 cups dried yellow skinless fava beans
2 large yellow onions, one onion diced finely, one sliced thinly
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil or olive oil
- Rinse and soak the beans in 4 cups of cool water for at least a couple of hours. Drain and rinse well.
- Rinse the rice with cool water and soak in 3 cups of water with 1-2 tablespoons of salt for about an hour before cooking. Drain.
- Place the fava beans in a medium pot, add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes or when the beans are tender but still intact. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until lightly golden brown. Add turmeric, stir well and saute for another five minutes. Add cumin and red pepper.
- Using a large slotted spoon, scoop out the beans and add to the fried onion and spices in the pot. Mix gently and cook them together for about five minutes.
- Add the drained rice and pour enough water to cover the rice and the beans about an inch above the rice, 4-5 cups of water. Bring to a gentle boil on medium heat. Stir in two tablespoons of butter. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel to absorb the moisture. Place the cover back on the pot and cook for about 45-50 minutes on low heat.
- In the meantime saute those sliced onions in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. After the onions become soft and transparent, reduce the heat to low and let them caramelize slowly.
It would be nice to have love reciprocated
one sided love is trouble
if Majnun's heart was filled with maddening love
Layli's heart was brimming with more intense love
~Poem by: Baba Taher