Persian Lima Bean Rice with Chicken and Dill

This Persian recipe has something for everyone and is a fragrant twist on rice, beans and chicken. The delicacy of the dill and the crunch of the slightly saffron tasting tahdig, or ‘bottom of the pot’ make a big flavor impression.

Serving size

⅛ recipe


8 servings

Prep time: 2hr 10min
Cook time: 1hr 45min
Total: 3hr 55min


2½ cups basmati rice

4 cups water

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin removed, bone in

4 pinches black pepper, freshly ground

12 ounces (340 grams) lima beans, frozen

3 tablespoons yogurt, full fat

6 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted, divided

½ teaspoon saffron threads

¼ cup boiling water

1 bunch dill, chopped

Nutrition Info

Makes: 8 servings  Serving size: ⅛ recipe




13 g

Saturated Fat

6 g

Trans Fat

<1 g


135 mg


38 g


<1 g


3 g


30 g


240 mg


41 mg


259 mg


361 mg


  1. Soak the rice in 4 cups of water with ½ teaspoon salt for 2 hours.
  2. Season the chicken with pepper. Brown the chicken over medium heat in a large skillet. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
  4. Drain the soaked rice and parboil it in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Add the lima beans and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until rice is softened but still chewy.
  5. Drain the rice and lima beans.
  6. Combine ½ cup of the cooked rice and lima mixture in a bowl with yogurt and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.
  7. Combine saffron threads with ¼ cup boiling water. Add to the rice and yogurt mixture.
  8. Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and saffron yogurt mixture in a thin layer at the bottom of the pot.
  9. Layer ¼ of the rice over the rice and saffron yogurt mixture in the pot.
  10. Add ⅓ of the chicken over the rice and cover with ¼ of the chopped dill. Add pinch of freshly ground pepper
  11. Repeat step 10, two more times.
  12. Add the final ¼ of the rice on top with the remaining dill.
  13. Insert a knife into the pot vertically, turning it to create a vent to bring steam from the bottom to the top. Do this twice more.
  14. Combine the final 3 tablespoons of melted butter with a ⅓ cup hot water.
  15. Pour over the top of the rice, distributing it evenly. Cover pot lid with a tea towel and bring the ends tightly over the top of the lid.
  16. Place lid on the cloth-covered pot to seal in the steam.
  17. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour or until the chicken begins to fall away from the bone.
  18. Mound the rice and chicken onto a platter. Scrape the crunchy rice called ‘tahdeeg’ from the bottom and serve on a separate platter on the side.



Recipe Contributed by FamilyCook Productions

This recipe can be frozen and enjoyed again. After it thaws, steam gently until the rice and chicken are reheated. Add a couple tablespoons of fresh dill to freshen the fragrance and flavor.