Loobia polo layered with green beans, spiced ground meat, tomatoes, herbs, lemon and infused with saffron.
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Persian Lubia Polo (Green Bean Rice)

Lubia Polo (Persian green bean rice) is a quick and easy comfort dish that is simple but tastes magical! A healthy and complete one pot meal, your next go-to recipe for a weeknight dinner or a quick fix for a party. Guaranteed you will love this nourishing meal that is packed with protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Estamboli Polo, Green Bean Rice, Persian Rice
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 Cups
Calories 306kcal
Author Roxana Begum

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice white, (recommend 1 ⅓ cup white rice + 2/3 cup brown basmati rice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 pound lamb ground, 90% lean
  • 1 teaspoon advieh Persian spice mix or curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or savory, dried
  • teaspoon salt adjust as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon powder dried or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound green beans cut into 1/2 inch or frozen
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/3 teaspoon saffron powdered and dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

Instructions

Cook Ground Meat with Green Beans

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil at medium setting in a cooking pot. Add the chopped onions and sauté few minutes. Then add the grated garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are light golden brown.
  • Add the ground lamb and sauté. Then add all the spices, dried herbs, 1/2 tsp salt (advieh/curry powder through lemon powder) and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans.
  • Next add the tomato paste and mix it well. If the mixture is too thick, may add a some water, cover and let it simmer until the beans are 3/4th done. It will continue to cook in the steaming process in the next steps. The mixture should be moist but not too wet.

Cook Rice

  • Rinse the white basmati rice in water several times until the water is clear and not starchy. Then drain the rice very well in a colander. (Tip: Basmati rice often has fine starchy powder on the top and you must get rid of that.)
  • Stove Top Method: Bring 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the rice and allow it to boil at medium high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes until the rice grains are soft. Stir the rice in between. Drain the rice and set aside. (Tip: The rice should be cooked to al dente stage. It should have expanded well, soft at the tips, see a white dot in the center and holds its shape well).
  • Rice Cooker Method: Bring 3 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a rolling boil. Add the rice and cook it just until all the water is absorbed, which should take about 15 to 20 minutes in a rice cooker. Do not let the rice steam after the water is absorbed. Or it will clump together.

Assemble Rice with Meat/Green Beans

  • Stove Top Method: Place the cooked rice with the sautéed meat/green bean mixture in several alternating layers in a heavy bottomed wide cooking pot. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon olive oil and saffron water all over. (Tip: You can make an optional potato crust or rice crust - video).
  • Turn up the heat to medium high for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to the low setting and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or more until the steam builds up well.
  • Rice Cooker Method: Alternatively, you could also layer the rice with meat/green beans and steam it together in a rice cooker. (Tip: You can make an optional potato crust or rice crust - video).
  • Once the rice is ready, turn off the heat. Gently mix the layers of the Persian Green bean rice.
  • Serve this Persian lubia polo with salad shirazi or Persian yogurt dip with shallots or a green salad, pickles and/or pickled olives.

If Using White And Brown Rice

    Easier Method

    • Bring 3½ cups water to a boil. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the brown rice first. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add the white basmati rice to the same pot. Let it all simmer till the grains are well done.

    Perfect Method

    • Bring 1 ⅓* cups of water to a rolling boil in a sauce pan. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 3/4 tablespoon olive oil. Then add 2/3 cup brown basmati rice, stir and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to cook until all the water is absorbed for about 30 to 40 minutes.
    • In a cooking pot, bring 4 cups of water and 3/4 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the white basmati rice and let it boil at medium high heat for 5-6 minutes until the rice grains are soft. Make sure to stir the rice while it is cooking. Drain the rice well in a colander and set aside.
    • Proceed with the remaining assembly steps above in section "Assemble Rice with Meat/Green Beans".

    Notes

    1. Persian spice mix (Advieh) recipe is on the blog. Ready made advieh is available at Persian or middle eastern grocery stores or online.
    2. You may substitute advieh with curry powder or a middle eastern or Mediterranean mixed spice.
    3. You can easily use frozen beans and make this recipe even more simpler.
    4. Cooking time and water used for white basmati rice and brown rice may vary with the age of rice.
    5. Rule of thumb is to test 1¼ to 1¾ cups water per cup for white basmati rice and 2 cups of water per cup of brown basmati rice to get the perfect ratio.
    6. The amount of water added while cooking the rice is very important to the final texture of this recipe.
    7. It is important to keep in mind the additional moisture from the other ingredients added to this Persian green bean rice, such as the tomato paste, green beans and onions. So, in the first step, the rice should be cooked to yield a fluffy rice that holds its shape well and is not too wet and delicate.
    8. If you have a rice cooker, definitely try using that for making this recipe. It will simplify the recipe and give you a reliable result each time.
    9. Make in Oven: Layer rice and meat-green beans mixture in a well sealed dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 to 60 minutes until steams builds up.
    This recipe appeared as a guest post at Kitchen Flavors.
    * The suggested amount of salt is just a guideline and may need to be adjusted. Check for any added salt in spice mixes and other ingredients and adjust.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 10.8mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2.2mg