Since I'm learning Persian cooking and am ALWAYS looking
for a way to cook with my favorite vegetable this recipe for Lubia (bean) Polo
(rice) or Persian Green Beans and Rice is perfect. The cinnamon adds warmth and
the saffron adds unmistakable Middle Eastern flavor. This
recipe is made with beautiful and fragrant Basmati rice, which is favored in Middle
Eastern cooking because the grains stay separate after cooking, making it a fluffy
I call this recipe simple because it doesn't require cooking to achieve a "tah-digh"
or "tahdig". According to renowned Persian cooking expert Najmieh Batmanglij
"... the bottom of the pot has a crisp golden brown crust, tah dig. Tah dig
should be a golden color, never scorched or dark brown. The reputation of Iranian
cooks rests on the quality of their tah dig, or golden crust." This recipe
also differs in that it uses ground beef in place of cubed beef or pork.
is a much easier and more forgiving version of the original dish, perfect for
any night of the week.
Persian Green Beans & Rice (Lubia
2 large onions, chopped Vegetable oil to sauté onions
1 pound lean ground beef 2 cups green beans, cut in 1/2" pieces 1/2
teaspoon saffron - steeped in a very small amount of water 1 teaspoon ground
cinnamon One small can of tomato paste or tube of paste salt and pepper
4 cups of Basmati rice on stove top or in an electric rice cooker. As you will
be adding the green bean and beef mixture to the rice you'll want to adjust the
size of the pot you use.
the onions with some oil.
the onion is softened add the ground beef and cook until the beef is brown (pour
off any excess fat).
the green beans and sauté for 5 minutes.
the saffron and water, cinnamon and tomato paste to the beans and beef. Mix well.
You may adjust the amount of tomato paste to your preference (start with 3 tablespoons).
Add between 1/3 - 1/2
cup of water to the green beans/beef and cook them for on low heat, covered for
another 5 to 10 minutes.
the mixture has simmered add salt and pepper to taste.
the rice is about 3/4 of the way cooked add the beef/green beans into the rice
and mix well. Let the rice continue to cook for the remaining time, covered.