Food Friday Series: Lima Dill Rice

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Summary: Mediterranean cuisine is full of healthy and balanced food including Lima Dill Rice. Noosh-e jān

The month of May is the time to break away from citrus frenzy and say hello to fresh markets offerings. You can find a wide array of colorful produce, hearty nuts, and aromatic herbs.

And then there are Broad Beans in the Mediterranean cuisine. Lima beans is an equivalent to what we have in the US. The only difference between Broad beans and Lima beans is their skin. There is a gruesome work that goes into removing the beans from its pod, cutting them in half, removing the skin and splitting them. Remembering my teenage years as a protégé wanna-be-cook to my extremely adroit mother, I still get jitters recalling the hardened sticky film that covered my palms after cleaning kilos and kilos of Broad beans. But when the smell of Broad Bean rice mixed with fresh dill filled the house, the rough work was ancient history.

The Broad beans are in season for a short while, perhaps a couple of weeks. However, it is worth the labor to taste the beans in a delicious Mediterranean dish.

Broad beans closest relative is Baby Lima beans with a buttery taste, that can be found – already sorted and washed – in the freezer aisle of most grocery stores in the US. The no-cholesterol, considerably low calorie fresh dill weed used in this recipe is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, Vitamin-C as well as minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Lima Dill rice is commonly served with lamb meat that has been cooked to perfection. But it can be paired with chicken or fish. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Prep time: 10 min.          

Cooking time: 1 hr 15 min                   

Ready in: 1 hrs 30 min. 

Level: Intermediate       

Serves: 4-5

  

Lima Dill Rice with Turkey and Gravy

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Ingredients

1 bunch fresh dill

1 ½ cups Basmati rice

1 ½ cups baby Lima beans

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 Turkey drumsticks

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of tomato paste (optional)

Directions:

1- Remove the thick dill stems from the bottom and soak the dill weeds in a bowl filled with water for 10 minutes to wash away any dirt. Rinse and spread them on a kitchen towel. Set aside to air dry.

2- Place oil in a deep pan over high heat. Sauté the onions until they become golden in color. Lower heat and add chopped garlic. Give it a quick stir and add turmeric. Then add Turkey drumsticks. Allow the outside of the meat to slightly turn brown. Then add enough boiled water (4-5 cups) to cover the drumsticks. Add salt, pepper and the cinnamon stick. Put the lid on. Let them cook on medium heat for 25 -30 minutes. Adding the tomato paste to the gravy before completely thickening is optional but will give the gravy a tasty kick and a beautiful color.

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3- In the meantime, run your knife through dill weeds to roughly chop them. Set aside.

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4- Wash 1 ½ cups of Basmati rice under lukewarm water. Drain. Repeat rinse and drain (4-5 times) until the water runs clear. This will help to wash away the excess starch and prevent the rice from becoming too mushy. Fill the pot with cold water 1 ½ times more than the amount of rice. Add about 2 tablespoons of salt to water. Bring to a boil. As soon as the rice appears floating on the surface, add the baby lima beans. Lower heat to avoid overflowing of the rice. Give it 3-4 minutes before removing it from heat to drain in a colander. To test the tenderness of lima bean, crush one between two fingers. It should be soft around the edges but not so in the core. The beans will thoroughly cook after being returned to the pot.

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5- Rinse the rice with cold water for 15 seconds to remove excess rice starch and revive the lima bean color. Add the chopped dill weed and mix well.

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6- Drizzle the oil in a pot over medium high heat. Return the rice mixture gradually in even layers to the pot, forming it into a dome as you add on. Pour ¼ cups of water over the rice, put the lid on and let it sweat. When steam appears to escape the pot, lower the heat, wrap the lid in a cloth or two sheets of paper towel and let the rice cook for another 15 minutes.

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Before serving, make sure to remove the cinnamon stick from the turkey gravy or better yet, strain the gravy through a sieve to gain a more consistent liquid.

Noosh-e jān!

 

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