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Mab's Baghali Ghatogh (Lima Beans with Dill and Eggs)

Recipe by: Mab Abbas and the League of Kitchens

Serves: 3

Mab's Baghali Ghatogh (Lima Beans with Dill and Eggs)
Photo by:  

Gillian Ferguson

Popular in the north of Iran for its ease and comfort, this hearty stew is reminiscent of shakshuka, a North African dish of eggs simmered in a fragrant tomato sauce that spread to the Middle East and now beyond. Feel free to adjust the amount of eggs to the number of people who will be eating, or omit them all together.

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  • 1 cup baby lima beans, or other small white beans, soaked overnight (OR canned white/cannellini beans)
  • 1 to 2 quills Wild Cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Himalayan Tejpatta
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri Saffron
  • 1 large or 2 small bunches fresh dill or 3 to 5 tablespoons dried dill
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic (depending on your love of garlic or not)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee or room-temperature unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon Peni Miris Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Pragati Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Guntur Sannam Chillies
  • Sprinkle of Panneer Rose, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs


  1. Drain and rinse the beans, put them in a medium saucepan, and cover with warm water (3/4 to 1 inch, about 2 cups, or up to the first knuckle of your pointer finger). Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, partially cover the pan with the lid, and bring to a boil over high heat, 6 to 10 minutes. Skim any foam, and then lower the flame to medium-low, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 50 minutes. (If there's too much water when the beans are done cooking, drain most of it out. The consistency should be thick and wet, but not overly soupy.) You know the beans are finished when you can squeeze one between two fingers and it breaks in half easily.
  2. Meanwhile, cut off the hard stems from the dill and then cut the bunch in half. Put the two halves together and then finely slice the dill. Put it into a bowl. There's no need to wipe the cutting board before you mince the garlic; the leftover bits of dill will add flavor. (The Persian kitchen uses one cutting board to cut all herbs and vegetables, so the mingling of leftover bits on the board adds a special touch.) 
  3. Put the ghee in a heavy, deep, wide skillet with a lid (or a Dutch oven). Turn the heat to high, and then turn the heat to low once the ghee melts. Add the garlic, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Turn off the heat, and add the ground cinnamon, turmeric, Guntur Sannam chillies, and optional rose petals.  Once that is all mixed, turn the heat back on to medium-low and add the fresh dill.  Add ½ c water, and mix thoroughly to form a paste. Bring to a simmer, add the beans, and cover. 
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick from the beans if desired. Pour the beans into the pan with the dill. Turn the heat to high for 1 minute and gently mix the beans and dill together. Stir in the salt, and then turn the heat to low as the beans come to a low simmer. Cover and simmer to meld the flavors, about 10 minutes. If it's too dry at this point, add 1/3 to ½ cup water. 
  5. Crack the eggs one by one into a ramekin or glass and gently slide your eggs onto the top of your beans, leaving about an inch of space between each (similar to making a shakshuka). You should only cook the number of eggs that will be eaten immediately. Cover and gently cook on low until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are to your liking, 8 to 10 minutes.

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