Middle Eastern Dill Rice

baghali polo, fava beans rice, iranian cuisine
bonchan / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
36 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 130mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rice is the ideal side for soaking up sauces and balancing out spicy dishes. This Middle Eastern recipe for basic white rice is kicked up a notch with chopped fresh dill and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

In this Middle Eastern recipe, basmati rice, a very long-grain white rice, is used. Basmati is treasured for its light and fluffy qualities and that it does not stick together as easily as plain long-grain white rice.

The rice should be soaked for two hours before cooking, so plan accordingly.


  • 2 cups white basmati rice, uncooked and soaked

  • 2 cups water, or chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh dill

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse rice and soak in cold water for 2 hours.

  3. In a medium saucepan, bring water or chicken broth to a boil and add bouillon stirring to combine.

  4. Drain the rice and add it along with the lemon juice to the boiling water or chicken broth and stir. Add dill and salt. Stir and cover.

  5. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done.

  6. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

  7. Enjoy!

Rinsing and Soaking Rice

Most white long-grain rice does not have to be soaked, although a good rinse is not a bad idea. Basmati rice, on the other hand, and other types of imported rice do need to be soaked. It separates the grains and allows for a more fluffy, less sticky rice that is not likely to clump together. It also takes less time to cook.

Jasmine Rice vs. Basmati Rice

Jasmine rice, commonly found in Persian cuisine, is another type of long-grain white rice with a nutty flavor that has a more subtle flavor than basmati rice. Jasmine rice can be substituted for basmati rice in Middle Eastern dishes to good effect.

As with basmati rice, jasmine rice should be soaked for two hours. The cooking methods and times are the same.