Cranberry Beans Stew ( Baghala Ghatogh )

Cranberry Beans Stew ( Baghala Ghatogh )

Baghala Ghatogh is one of the famous vegetarian dish from Caspian province in Northern Iran. In traditional it’s made with Cranberry beans (Pacheh Baghala) which the season is beginning of fall, but dry and frozen versions are always available.

This is one of the quickest dish you can make if the beans are peeled!! Yes, the beans should be peeled, so this step takes many hours specially if you use dry beans, which means you must plan ahead. Fresh beans come in the shell and it is the first step to do, and then peel the beans. Dry beans must be soaked in water for at least 8-10 hours that can be peeled easily. As you see these steps are not easy at all. I remember when I used to live with my parents, every fall my mom and dad traveled to North and they back with a big bag of cranberry beans in sell!! like almost 10 pounds, and that was the time my sister and I went to cry. Took us hours and hours to peel them.

When I say easy and quick to make means when the beans are peeled. My kids love this food so no excuse, we usually peel them during weekend when we watch a movies together 🙂

All these years that I leave out of Iran I make this dish with deferent types of beans, like; Red kidney beans, Pinto beans, Lima beans, Cranberry beans or Fava beans. The easiest is lima bean that the preparation is very easy and tastes almost the same. You can freeze peeled beans in the freezer. In US you can find in Fresh Market or Whole Food.


Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 2 people

Course: Entree, stew



1 pound fresh beans or 1 cup dry beans ( Lima beans or Cranberry beans )

4 tablespoons fresh (or frozen) chopped Dill or 3 tablespoons dry Dill

1 big garlic clove or 2 small

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Turmeric

3 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter

Salt and Pepper to taste


How to make

  1. Beans should be peeled as I said above.
  2. Heat oil or butter in a pot over medium heat.
  3. Add finely minced garlic and 1/2 tablespoon turmeric until fragrant.
  4. Add beans and dill to them if you are using fresh dill, if not add dry dill some minutes after beans and also the rest of turmeric until dill is slightly wilted.

  1. Add 2 cups of water. The amount of water depends on the bean. You can add boiled water if it looks dry.

  1. Cover the pot and cook it until beans are half cooked.
  2. Add salt and pepper and stir and cover again until beans are tender. This is a stew not soup so it shouldn’t be watery or dry.
  3. With a spoon make two shallow wells in beans; crack one egg in each well. Cover it until eggs are cooked.

  1. You can sprinkle with Saffron if you like.


  1. Beans get tender very quick so don’t stir this stew to much to keep the beans shape.
  2. Don’t add salt and pepper at the beginning of process. That makes beans hard to cook.
  3. The traditional and best side dish for this meal is smoked, salted fish or Olives or mixed pickle.
  4. You can serve it with rice or bread.

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