EGG CRUST DIRECTIONS:
Beat the eggs in a large bowl and mix with the rice. Set aside until needed.
Soak the beans overnight. rinse them well and place in a large heavy pot. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour being sure to skim often. Rinse the 3 cups of rice then place in a large bowl.
Barely cover with lukewarm water, add 1 teaspoon salt, then let rice soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and set
Heat oil in a large skillet, add the meat, onions and garlic,
brown meat and onions/garlic for about 1 minutes.
Mix the saffron with 2 tablespoons of water add to the meat, season with salt and pepper to taste, add the stock, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, etc. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hrs.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet
overmedium-low heat, add the raisins and dates and cook until softened.
Remove form heat set aside.
Bring 3 qts. of water to a boil in a large pot add salt pour in the rinsed rice, allow to boil while stirring for 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain. The rice will
still be hard and not completely cooked.
Rinse with cold water. Mix 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4 cup of warm water, pour into a large heatproof, flat-bottomed, casserole with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the crust into the casserole being sure that it covers the
bottom completely. Spread 1 cup of rice over the crust, then a layer of meat then a layer of beans, then a lyer of dates and raisins repeat until all ingredients have been used.
Top with remianing rice then drizzle 5 tablespoons of butter over this layer of rice.
Pour the remaining stock over the this layer of ruce as well.
Poke 6 -7 holes into the top layer of rice with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Wrap the casserole lid with a linen or cotton cloth. Be sure not to use a terry cloth towel as it will absorb the steam. Place the lid tightly on the casserole and cook over a med-high heat for 5 minutes, reduce rthe heat to low and steam the casserole for 4 minutes.
Stir the remaining butter in a small bowl with the remaining saffron.
Remove the polov from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes, remove 1 cup of rice form the top layer of the polov and toss with the saffron-butter mixture then replace on the top of the polov.
Serve at once.
* NOTE: In other parts of Central Asia this dish is made with red beans and I have it made with beef, horse, camel, chicken, and venison for the meat instead of the lamb. It is excellent anyway it comes.