Monday, July 7, 2014

Rice with Fava Beans - Timmen Baghilla

This recipe came from The Iraqi Cookbook.  I made a light and flavorful potato salad from this cookbook too.  This recipe was excellent.  It's one of the best I have posted on my blog.

Fava or broad beans are one of the oldest plants still in cultivation.  These beans were eaten in the Mediterranean starting around 6000 BC.  Today they are eaten throughout the world.

I actually used frozen edamame in this recipe instead of fava beans.  It isn't traditional, but I didn't want to work with dried beans.  Edamame are immature soy beans.  Edamame are eaten throughout Asia but not in the Middle East.  

This recipe uses a tablespoon of a spice blend called baharat.  The book has instructions on how to make the spice mixture, but I just ended up sprinkling small quantities of the spices unmeasured instead of making 2 cups of baharat. 

 If you are interested, to make baharat you combine the following spices:  1/4 cup ground black pepper, 1/4 cup paprika, 1/2 cup ground cumin, 1/4 cup ground turmeric, 1/4 cup ground coriander seed, 5 tablespoon ground cloves, 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 5 tablespoons ground nutmeg, 5 tablespoons ground dried limes, 2 tablespoons ground cardamom, and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.

To make this recipe I used a hearty pinches of the spices mentioned above.  I did not add dried limes because I have no idea where to find that ingredient.  I also added a couple of whole cloves instead of ground cloves.  The other ingredients are 1 pound rice, 2 cups frozen edamame (or fava) beans, 1 pound lamb on the bone cut into pieces, 1 bunch fresh dill, 4-5 tablespoons cooking oil (I used peanut oil), salt, pepper, 2 cups Greek yogurt, and 2 minced garlic cloves.

I started by frying the lamb.  I heated up a few tablespoons of oil and then placed the lamb in the skillet.  The meat only browned and was not fully cooked.

While it was cooking, I sprinkled on heavy quantities of pepper, paprika, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and ginger.

Once the meat was brown on one side, I flipped it over to brown on the other side.  This didn't take long.  The lamb cooked on each side for just a few minutes.  I added 4 cups of water to the skillet and brought the water to a boil.  The meat simmered in the water until it was cooked completely.

I chopped the fresh dill and put it with a few tablespoons of hot cooking oil in a pan with high sides.  All the rice and lamb needed to fit in this pan so I made sure it was large.

I added the frozen beans and fried the dill and beans for a few minutes.  I stirred regularly so nothing stuck to the pan.

I added the meat and broth into the large pan with the beans.  I brought the broth to a simmer.

Once the broth was simmering, I added the rice.  I stirred a little.

After a quick stir, I put on the lid and let the mixture simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  The rice was completely cooked through.

While the rice and lamb cooked, I prepared the yogurt sauce.  It was made with Greek yogurt and minced garlic.  I stirred the two ingredients together, not too difficult of a task.  

What a beautiful looking pot of food!  The aroma was intriguing and piquant.  

The flavor was savory and exotic.  The rice is very flavorful because it takes some of the taste of the lamb.  I could tell that it had many warm and alluring spices, but I couldn't identify individual spices because they melded together so well.

The bright dill added a nice freshness, and the yogurt sauce was creamy and smooth.  This recipe is one of my favorite main dishes on my blog.  If you are thinking about what to make for dinner, I would advise you to make this.

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