Lubia Polo, Persian Green Bean Rice
Lubia Polo or Lubia Polow (Persian Green Bean Rice) is one of the popular Iranian dishes. Lubia Polo is a delicious combination of rice, green beans, tomato sauce and spices, and usually serves with plain yogurt or Salad Shirazi, Persian Tomato Cucumber Salad.
Yield: Serves 5
- 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (I used this brand: Saleem Caravan, Super Golden Basmati Rice)
- 600 g lean stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 500 g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups cuted)
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground angelica, also known as Golpar (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- ground saffron
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- thin bread, I used pita bread
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter (more or less depends on your taste)
- vegtable oil
- salt and pepper
Place the rice in a large bowl; pour lukewarm water, stir and pour off the water. Repeat four times until water runs clear. Then soak rice in salted (with 2 tablespoons salt) lukewarm water for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the green bean mixture: heat 3 tablespoons oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the green beans and saute for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium heat, add the onion and saute until golden. Increase heat to medium-high; add the beef and saute until no longer pink. Add turmeric and mix well. Pour 1 3/4 cups water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 60 minutes or until beef is almost cooked. Then add the green beans, crushed tomatoes, 1/8 teaspoon saffron, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, allspice, angelica (Golpar), salt and pepper.
Cover the pot and cook until beef and green beans are cooked and sauce is thick, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the green beans mixture aside.
Drain the soaked rice and set aside. Pour water in a large non-stick pot (until it is 3/4-full), add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice to the boiling water and cook uncovered until rice is a little tender (not quite tender) about 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the stove; drain the rice in a colander.
Pour 5 tablespoons oil in the non-stick pot. Place a layer of thin bread in pot; it should cover the bottom of the pot.
Place a layer of the rice over the bread.
Then place a layer of the green beans mixture on the rice. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon saffron.
Keep layering until all the rice and green beans mixture are done. Don't forget to sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon saffron in each layer. Mix a little and try to make a nice mound in the middle. Using handle of a wooden spoon, make deep holes in rice.
Pour 1/4 cup water over the rice. Then pour 7 tablespoons oil over the rice. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon saffron on top.
Put the lid on and cook over medium-high heat until it begins to steam (about 4-5 minutes). Then wrap a kitchen towel around underside of the pot lid, making sure it is secured on top and away from heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately 30-40 minutes. Don't overcook, you don't want the rice to become too mushy.
When rice is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Wet a towel with cold water and place the pot on the wet towel for a few moments (it helps to release Tah-deeg from the bottom of pot). Melt the butter. Transfer the Lubia polo to a serving dish and pour the melted butter over the rice.
For Tah-deeg; carefully remove the crusty bottom with a spatula in one whole piece.
Serve Lobia polow with plain yogurt or Salad Shirazi, Persian Tomato Cucumber Salad.
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