It’s official – I can no longer stomach eating salads in the winter.
Granted, I do live in the desert where the term ‘winter’ hardly means sub-zero temperatures and gloomy sunless days on end – but still. It’s all relative, right?
I’ve tried everything from chopping up fresh veggies as a snack with some hummus to putting together one of my signature meal-sized salads but my mind and body are having none of it. I finally gave up on adding fresh salad greens to my weekly produce order a couple of weeks ago and have been subsisting on soups, stews, curries and hearty grain dishes instead.
One such dish that has been on repeat lately in my kitchen is this Iraqi-inspired vegan Timman Bagilla – AKA a dill-infused brown rice pilaf with broad beans.
Note, I say Iraqi-inspired. Timman Bagilla is a traditional Iraqi dish usually made with fresh fava beans and garnished with meat – my version is hardly authentic. It is however immensely flavourful, wonderfully filling and packed with plant-based protein in the form of buttery broad beans.
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 cup of brown rice, rinsed
- 2 cups of frozen broad beans
- 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice
- 1 large bunch of dill, roughly chopped without stalks (roughly 1 cup, loosely packed)
- ¼ cup of raisins
- 3 cups of water or vegetable stock (with extra as needed)
- 2 tbsp each of chopped pistachios, pomegranate tendrils or spring onions to garnish (optional)
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- First add your cooking oil of choice to a medium-sized pan on medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes before adding in the garlic and sautéing for another 2 minutes.
- Next add in the broad beans and three quarters of the chopped dill (set the rest aside for later). Mix well for about a minute until all the ingredients are well incorporated and fragrant.
- Add in the brown rice and water or vegetable stock. Season to taste and add in the raisins.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover, allowing it to gently simmer for 30-35 minutes.
- Check on the rice, adjusting liquid and seasonings as needed. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until rice is tender and cooked all the way through.
- Once done add in the remaining dill and lemon juice and stir through. Fluff with a fork and serve warm with toppings of choice.
That said, pre-soaking the brown rice anywhere from 6 hours to overnight before you cook this dish cuts down on the cooking time by around half
Confession time – I actually forgot to add in the raisins when I cooked the recipe for this post – but I do implore you not to omit them if you try this. Cooked raisins get wonderfully plump and juicy, and I do adore the pop of sweetness amidst such a savoury and fragrant dish.
The combination of dill and rice evokes so much nostalgia for me as it reminds me of Ramadans past during my childhood – for some reason my mom hardly ever cooked her version of timman bagilla at any other time of year!
And while it does take a little bit of time to cook up, it is otherwise relatively simple and fuss-free – perfect for whipping up while doing some batch cooking or meal-prepping.
I hope you make this one soon, and if you do, I’d love to hear about it! Tag your posts with @onerabvegan on the ‘gram, if you’re so inclined.
Until next time, dear readers!