Baghali Pollo or Dill Weed Rice with Fava Beans and Lamb

(Serves 5-6) 

2 large onions, sliced or chopped 
4 tablespoons cooking oil 
5 lamb shanks 
3 garlic cloves 
1 teaspoon turmeric 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
3 cups rice 
8 tablespoons salt 
1 cup fresh dill weed, chopped , or 4-5 tablespoons dried dill weed 
1 1/2 cups fresh fava beans,  1 12 oz package frozen lima beans) 
1/2 teaspoon saffron 
dried rose petals (Special kind of rose) 
2 teaspoons hot water 
1 table spoon melted butter 

Sauté the onions in 4 tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the turmeric and mix it with sautéed onions . Add the lamb shanks and brown all sides.  Add one cup water,  the garlic cloves, lemon juice and some salt  (to taste). Cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours over medium to low heat. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the dried rice and the 8 table spoons of salt to the boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse with water and drain again. 

Defrost the lima beans and peel. If fresh fava beans are available cook them in water for 10 minutes, cool and peel. 

In a large pot bring 1 table spoon of water and 1 tablespoon of oil to boil. Add 1/3 of the rice. Sprinkle 1/3 of the dill and fava beans on top of it. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and dried crushed rose petals. Alternate layers until the ingredients are all used up. Cover the pot with a lid wrapped in a cloth and steam over a medium heat for 30 minutes. You may start the steaming process over high heat. Once the rice starts steaming lower the heat and steam over a low to medium heat. 

Just before serving, dilute the saffron in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Mix it with 1 cup of the cooked rice. 
Dish the rice in a platter. Sprinkle the saffron colored rice on top. Arrange the cooked shanks around the  rice in the platter. You may pour one table spoon of melted  butter over the rice. Also you may spoon a table spoon or two of the lamb broth over the rice. Be careful not to make the rice soggy. 

Note: Not all rose petals are edible. You may find these special  dried rose petals (Gol Sorkh) at the persian food store.