Shevid bhagala polou

Shevid bhagala polou

Rice with lamb, broad beans and dill

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
60g ghee or butter
1.5kg lamb shoulder chops, cut 4 cm thick
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
600g basmati or other good-quality long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons salt
300g fresh broad beans, shelled and skins removed, (see note)
1 handful dill, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan. Working in batches, brown the lamb chops on each side, removing each batch to a plate.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of ghee in the pan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Add the turmeric and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in 250 ml water, return the lamb to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender but not falling apart.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. While the lamb is cooking, bring 2 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the well-washed rice and the 2 tablespoons salt. Stir until the water returns to the boil, then allow to boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain immediately.
  6. Mix the broad beans and dill in a bowl. Add half the hot rice, toss to combine and season with salt.
  7. Melt the remaining ghee in a large casserole dish and add 1 tablespoon water. Swirl to coat the side of the dish, then pour most of the ghee into a container.
  8. Place the remaining plain rice in the casserole dish and even it out. Top with the lamb mixture, including the juices. Spread the broad bean and rice mixture on top. Pour half the reserved ghee evenly over the rice. Cover and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  9. Spoon the broad bean and rice mixture from the top and arrange around the edge of a serving platter. Remove the lamb pieces to a plate. Spoon the rice from the bottom of the dish in the centre of the platter and top with the lamb pieces.
  10. Pour the ghee from the dish over the lamb and rice. Serve with yoghurt and pickles.


  • Fresh shelled broad beans are skinned similarly to dried soaked broad beans. Fennel can be substituted for the dill in this recipe.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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