|Loobia polo (rice and green beans)
Loobia Polo is a popular dish in Iran. Although it is made all year round, it is specially favored for out of
town picnics. The dish keeps its taste when cold hence the reason for its being a favorite at picnics.
Country of origin: Iran
Main ingredients: Basmati rice, ground meat, green beans, tomato juice or paste, spices
Recipe (serving four):
1) Four cups of basmati rice
2) One cup of frozen cut green beans (defrosted)
3) One pound of chopped beef or lamb (ground beef or lamb OK)
4) One medium onion (diced fine)
5) Two table spoon of oil (any kind of vegetable oil will do)
6) One can of tomato paste, or one cup of tomato juice
7) (optional) two table spoon of lemon juice
8) 1 tea spoon of salt, one table spoon of sea salt, one table spoon of ground pepper
9) One pinch of turmeric, One pinch of cinnamon (optional)
10) Lavash or pocket pita bread (optional)
Mix sea salt, rice, and water in a copper or aluminum bottom pot. The water should cover up to ½ inch over the rice. Let the rice mix sit for two hours.
The sauce: In a sauce pan heat oil, sauté onions till golden brown and mix meat , salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook thoroughly. Next, add tomato juice (or diluted tomato paste), cinnamon, lemon juice, and green beans to the meat. Mix all ingredients and let simmer at low heat for twenty minutes.
The rice: Boil the rice mix on high heat for ten minutes. The rice should be cooked just enough so that the core of rice grain is not hard; if overcooked the dish will turn out mushy. Drain the rice and rinse with warm water. Add oil in the pot on high heat. Put thin flat bread like Lavash or pocket pita bread cut in half at the bottom of the pot while the oil is heating up (optional) . Let the oil (and bread) heat for two minutes. Lower the flame, and then layer the rice with the sauce in the pot. Cook for about forty minutes.
- Mahni Alizadeh