Persian Rice with Green Beans, Tomatoes & Beef (Lubia Polo) January 31, 2016 12:34


 Inspired by

This is a fabulous mixed rice dish that is traditionally served with beef that partners really well with Savory Veggie Torshi.  Look for the vegetarian version of the Lubia Polo in another blog.

  • Prep Time: 30 hr
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Meat & green bean mixture

  • 3 Tbsp oil 
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 lbs beef (preferably shank), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp limu-omani (dried Persian lime powder)*
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped, or one 14.5 can of chopped tomatoes, drained


  • 3 cups long-grain basmati rice
  • 8 cups of water and 2 TBSP salt for soaking rice
  • 15 cups of water plus 2 TBSP salt (for parboiling the rice)
  • 3/4 cup oil, melted butter, or ghee
  • 1/2 tsp saffron dissolved in 2 TBSP of hot water or hot rosewater
  • 1/2 cup milk for the golden bottom crust of the rice (tah-dig)
  • 1/2 cup water for the golden bottom crust of the rice (tahdig)
  • 1 tsp limu-omani (dried Persian lime powder)*
      1. To soak the rice: Clean and wash 3 cups rice 5 times in lukewarm water, each time gently agitating the water with your hand and pouring it out until the water is clear. It is desired but not essential to soak the rice in 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt for 2-3 hours. The salt firms up the rice for the long cooking time later on.
      2. To cook the meat: Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and brown onions, garlic and meat. Add string beans and all the spices listed under the list for the meat mixture. Sauté for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. (If using canned tomatoes, make sure they are completely drained.) Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.
      3. Bring 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in a large, non-stick pot over high heat. Drain the soaking rice and pour rice immediately into the boiling water. Boil briskly for 8 min, gently stirring a few times. Bite a few grains. If the rice feels soft and all it has risen to the surface, drain it into a large, fine-mesh colander. Rinse with 3 cups of cold water.
      4. To make a golden crust: In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup milk, 1 TBSP saffron water, and 2 1/2 spatulas rice. Flatten the rice evenly over the bottom of the nonstick pot.
      5. Place 2 spatulas full of rice in the pot, then use a slotted spatula to add a layer of the meat and green bean mixture. (Reserve extra juice from the mixture for next step.) Sprinkle the limu-omani between the layers. Repeat, alternating layers to form a pyramid. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. 
      6. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup oil, remaining 1 TBSP saffron water, remaining juice of the meat mixture over the rice. Wrap the lid with a clean dish towel and cover the pot firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping. (The towel will be on the underside of the lid, i.e., the lid and the pot. Flip the corners of the towel on top of the lid, so that they do not burn.) Cook 50 minutes longer over low heat. Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
      1. Take about 2 tablespoons of the saffron-flavored rice from the top and set aside for garnishing.
      2. Gently place rice, one spatula at a time, onto serving platter with out disturbing the crust.
      3. Remove the crust from the bottom of the pot with a wooded spoon and serve on a separate platter and serve on the side. Serve rice with Savory Veggie Torshi!

      *Note: You can buy limu-omani at Persian specialty stores or over the internet.