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overhead image: lubia polo served on large round gray platter
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5 from 2 votes

Lubia Polo (Iranian Rice Dish)

Lubia Polo is a delicious Iranian rice dish of beef or lamb and green beans in rich tomato sauce. Make this Persian recipe for a comforting weeknight dinner!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 654kcal
Author: Kevin

Ingredients

Rice

  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 potatoes sliced ½ inch thickness

Meat Green Bean Mixture

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion medium diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 teaspoon advieh or curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lb green beans fresh or frozen (cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 6 oz tomato paste

Instructions

Rice

  • Grind the saffron threads in the palm of your hand, or in a mortar and pestle (preferred). Mix with ¼ cup of warm water. Let sit and allow saffron to bloom and draw out as much color as possible. It should be a deep ruby red.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and stir. Place rice in a strainer or sieve and rinse with lukewarm water, swishing rice around with your fingers to get rid of excess starch. Continue to rinse until water runs clear.
  • Add rice to boiling water and stir to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to rise to the top and is tender but still has a slight bite to it, 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Meat and Green Beans Mixture

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, sauté 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are golden brown.
  • Add the ground beef or lamb, stir in the Advieh Persian Spice Blend (or curry powder), cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and salt. Sauté until meat is no longer pink and then add the green beans, tomato paste and half cup of water. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Cover and cook until the green beans are almost cooked, 6 minutes.

Assembly

  • In the large pot used for the rice add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium high. Arrange the potato slices evenly over the bottom of the pot, do not overlap. This is your tahdig layer.
  • Spoon a third of the rice over the potatoes and then pour half of the bloomed saffron water on top. Add a third of the meat bean mixture and repeat with the rest of the rice and meat mixture, making sure the rice is shaped like a cone shaped mountain. Pour remaining bloomed saffron water plus ⅓ cup water all over.
  • Wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel and place it on the pot. Turn heat to medium low and cook for 40 minutes, rotating the pot a few times for even crisping, until the rice is tender and fluffy and the tahdig is crispy and golden.
  • Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the pot. Place an appropriate-sized platter over the top of the pot and quickly and confidently flip the pot over. There should be a swish sound of the release of the tahdig. Alternately, you can scoop the rice, on to a platter. Gently remove the tahdig whole or in pieces, and serve it on the side.

Video

Nutrition

Sodium: 1075mg | Calcium: 97mg | Vitamin C: 32mg | Vitamin A: 1098IU | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 6g | Potassium: 1067mg | Cholesterol: 54mg | Calories: 654kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Fat: 30g | Protein: 22g | Carbohydrates: 75g | Iron: 4mg