03 March 2014

Baghali ghatogh; North Iranian fava bean and egg stew.


Baghali means fava bean and ghatogh is an old Persian word meaning “stew”.  So yes! This is a fava bean stew from north Iran’s Caspian region. It is a great vegetarian dish and since it has eggs, it also is a complete nourishing dish.

Allergy alert:  Fava beans can cause serious allergy reactions in susceptible individuals. Check this link for more details. Make sure you inform your guests of their existence. 

Ingredients:
400 gr skinned fava beans (British Eng;broad beans )
-Lima beans could also be used
2 TBSP crushed garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
100 gram fresh dill
1 TSP turmeric
2 cups water
Lime juice, salt and pepper to season
4 eggs
1 TBSP creamed fish roe (optional)*
* The dish is traditionally served with a piece of slated or smoked fish. This is to imitate that. If not interested, either serve it with one of the aforementioned or simply just ignore it (especially if you’d like to keep it vegetarian)

Brown the garlic in half of the oil. Blend the other half with dill.

Skin the beans (Rather labor intensive but very important; It is very tempting to just add them skin on). Add turmeric and fry in oil. Then add beans, dill oil and water. Season with salt and pepper and drops of lime juice. Don’t go liberal with the lime juice cause this stew is not meant to be sour (unlike other north Iranian recipes). Just drops to achieve the flavor balance.  

Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat till the stew is thick (from beans starch) and beans are fully cooked. Traditionally, at this stage eggs are added and are cooked for a couple of minutes without stirring till they are set. I prefer them poached as it is visually appealing and also as runny yolks work as a sauce and enrich the dish. 

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