Persian Loobia Polow or Persian Pilaf with Green Beans & Lamb.

Where shall I begin with my love for this dish…. The filling part or the juicy red tahdig (Crispy bottom part of the rice)?

Well this dish was a treat in my mum’s Persian kitchen. We could always smell this dish from miles away coming home from school. Mum dressed in her patterned apron, furiously running around the kitchen to get the dish ready before the kids arrived home from school… Probably because she knew we would be hovering around for our chance to have a pick of the filling simmering away. Probably in reality, she knew what we were up to and pretended to be pre-occupied with other tasks. Once we had our score with some portion of the filling, we would grab the freshly baked pita bread or Turkish bread and make a sandwich of it….. Oh how delicious it tasted.

This recipe serves 4-5 persons.

Ingredients

  • 700g Long Grain Basmati Rice 
  • 500g Lamb Mince
  • 550g String Beans- remove the ends and cut into 2 cm length
  • 2 Potatoes- peeled, cut into 3 pieces lengthwise
  • 1 Large Brown onions – finely diced
  • 6-8 Tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 lemon- juiced
  • Oil
  • Turmeric Salt and Pepper

Spice Mix

  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp Advieh (Spice Library Persian Blend)
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds

Method

  1. In a pot, wash rice thoroughly and drain. Add 4 cups of hot water with 2 tablespoon of salt. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pan, dry fry the onions with pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes. Add oil and 1/2 tsp of turmeric. Sauté until golden and caramelized.
  3. Add meat, pinch of salt and pepper and cook until browned. Add the spice mix and stir thoroughly until fragrant. Add green beans to the mixture and sauté for 5-10 mins while stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add 2 cup of water; Bring to rapid boil, adjust seasoning, then cover the pan and simmer on low heat for 15-20 mins until the mixture is partially cooked. Stir through the lemon juice and remove from heat.
  4. Place the pot of rice on high heat. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bite a few grains; the rice should feel soft on the outside and firm in the centre. Remove from heat and drain into a colander. Add oil and a pinch of turmeric to the pot. Layer the potatoes to the bottom of the pot. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes. Then return half of the rice to the pot with half quantity of green beans mixture. Combine well. Repeat this process again. Poke a few holes in the rice with the back of spatula; pour 1/4 tbsp of water on top. Cover the pot & cook on med heat for 5 mins until steaming. Then cook over low heat for 35 or until rice is well cooked.

Serve with fresh herbs & radish either with Dalal Yoghurt or cucumber Yoghurt.

 

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