Iranian Food

Lubia Polo (Rice with Green Beans)


This Iranian dish is one of my favorites and my 16 month loves it just as much as I do. This recipe is not only simple to make, but is incredibly flavorful with dreamy aromatic flavors of turmeric, cinnamon and saffron infused throughout the dish.

The trickiest part is cooking basmati rice. Making Persian rice is a delicate form of art that I’ll likely never master. My parents have been teaching me forever, but I always seem to forget a step and then my rice turns out to become one huge mush ball. Yikes!


To avoid the mushiness, keep a close eye on the rice. Use a rice cooker if you have one or just follow the directions on the rice package. 1 cup of basmati rice usually calls for 2 cups of water.

This recipe has been adapted from various recipes I’ve found to make it a quick dinner that’s ready in less than an hour. Persian rice usually takes a while to make especially with tadiq, a crisp layer of rice, potatoes or pita bread at the bottom of the pot. I have no idea how to do all of that, so I just use a rice cooker. I’ll leave the proper rice making to my parents and in laws!


Lubia Polo

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 30  minutes. Serves 6

1 can (14.5 oz) drained diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 lb green beans, cut into small pieces

1 onion diced

1 lb organic ground beef, not too lean

2 cups basmati rice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp salt and pepper (add more to taste)

A few strands of saffron

1. Rinse rice with cold water until water runs clear (about 4 times)

2. Make the rice: add 4 cups of water into rice cooker and let be until it’s ready. Or place in covered pot on medium heat with salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook until soft, but not too soft.

3. Saute green beans with some olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato paste.

4. Sauté onions and ground beef. When cooked, add to green beans and tomatoes. Add turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

5. Grind saffron then add to 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside

6. In a pot, layer rice then the beef, green beans and tomato mixture. Keep layering ending with rice. Pour saffron liquid on top.

7. Serve with plain yogurt or mast o khiar, yogurt mixed with dill and chopped cucumbers.

Nooshe jan!

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