As most of you know by now, I love Iranian food, and I have been cooking it a lot recently. One of the dishes I discovered on my last trip to Iran is a Gilaki (from Gilan province) classic, a simple vegetarian dish cooked with beans, that are not unlike cannellini, and dill with eggs broken into the mixture at the very last minute just before serving. I make mine slightly differently, leaving it fresher and drier than they do in Iran because I don’t like to lose the definition of ingredients. When I sent my picture of the dish to my friend Nasrine, who I stay with when I am in Iran, she said it was more like art than food! Not so sure about that but it is beautiful, and delicious, and very easy to make.
Unless, that is, you want to make it to the letter, and peel the beans the way they do in Iran. I watched the dish being made twice. First at Nasrine’s house by the lovely late Minou Saberi, and again in the market in Rasht at a take-out stall where they only make that one dish. Minou had bought her beans pre-peeled from Tajrish market while the old man in Rasht spent hours peeling his. Fortunately, his two sisters who did the cleaning and cooking kept topping up his cup of tea to keep his energy up!
And here is their finished dish. I am almost sure they used sabzi (one of the ultimate Iranian ingredients, a mixture of herbs that changes from region to region depending on what they have growing) whereas I think Minou used only dill. Anyhow, my recipe calls for dill only but you can make up your own herb mixture if you feel like it. The picture of Minou’s baghali is in the Saveur article, as is the recipe.