This simple peasant food brings back fond memories of childhood and time spent visiting family near the shores of the Caspian Sea.
It is surprisingly simple in composition but packed with flavors. The signature flavors for this dish are garlic and dill.
The dish begins by patiently sauteing the onions until they turn golden in color. Both my parents were big fans of fried onions or Piaz Daagh in Farsi, in our regional Northern Iranian dishes, so when mom would prepare this dish there would be plenty of it!
Garlic and turmeric are added to amplify the color and flavors. Traditionally a dried white bean (Pacheh Baghala) would be used for this dish which is hard to find. Consequently, I have found butter or lima beans to be great alternatives for this dish. Lastly, I personally love fresh fava beans and have found that they too work quite nicely.
While fresh dill works beautifully, I tend to use dry dill to best match the flavors with how my family would have prepared it in Iran. Lastly, the eggs are cracked right into the dish and poached just long enough until they are cooked but remain creamy and soft.
I also have fond memories of this dish as an adult. For many years when I would visit my mom, this would have been the first dish she prepared for me. A simple, yummy, and, most importantly, vegetarian dish that was just what I loved!
- 2 14 oz. canned butter beans, rinsed
- 6 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1/4 cup dill, dried
- 2 cups water (add more as needed)
- 4 eggs
- Rinse the butter beans in a colander and drain completely.
- In a medium-size pot, sauté the onion with butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the onions are golden-brown.
- Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Continue by adding salt, pepper, and turmeric and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the butter beans, dried dill and water, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Avoid excessive stirring to keep the beans whole.
- Crack the eggs on top of the beans, add a tiny pinch of salt, pepper, and turmeric on top of the eggs, and cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
- Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve over plain basmati rice or with Persian flatbread with a side of yogurt.