Last week at the Santa Monica Farmers Market I noticed Fresh Lima Beans available already peeled in bags for sale. I purchased two bags with two different recipes to try in mind. At home I had a nice fresh bunch of dill in the refrigerator and I always keep Basmati rice in my pantry. At the Sephardic Temple Cookbook Committee lunch featuring Egyptian and Caribbean Sephardic dishes I asked my friend Dalia how to make Persian rice with Dill and Lima Beans. So here goes. This is what I did and it turned out very tasty and beautiful even though I am not sure if it is exactly right. The dish makes a beautiful presentation on a Rosh Hashanah buffet or for any nice dinner. For more servings increase the quantity in the same ratio.
Serves 4 to 5 as part of a buffet
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of Saffron
4 cups fresh dill, washed and stems removed, very loosely measured
2 cups fresh shelled lima beans, split in half
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Rinse rice under cold water in a sieve to remove any starch. Place rice in a medium sauce pan with two cups cold water 1 teaspoon salt and saffron. Bring rice to a boil over medium high heat , lower temperature to low, and boil for 7 minutes until partially cooked. Drain rice.
Place a medium non stick pan with a tight fitting lid over medium high heat. Add oil, salt and turmeric. Let turmeric sizzle for a moment and then, add 1/3 of the drained rice to hot oil. Add 1/3 of Lima beans and one third of dill. Repeat with another layer. Mound last third of rice into a cone shape in the middle and scatter remaining Limas and dill around. Add another 1/2 cup water, drizzling slowly around pan. Cover pan and let the rice steam for another 40 minutes on very low heat.
To serve invert rice onto serving platter with crunchy turmeric stained layer on top.