Loobia Polo in its traditional format, is a combination of rice, simmering with alternate layers of a mixture of green beans, lamb (cut into small pieces), fried onions and seasonings. But in this recipe I added some carrot and green peas since I am a fan of vegetables !!!
Like what my great aunt used to say about a good Iranian Polo or Chelo “You should be able to count cooked grains down”.
- Long grain rice 4 cups
- lamb or beef, cut into small pieces, 1lb or 450 grams
- Green peas (cut into 1-2 cm pieces ), 1lb or 450 grams
- Medium onions (sliced), 2 or 3
- Tomato paste 2tbs, (or crushed tomatoes 4tbs)
- Vegetable oil 1/3 cup
- Turmeric, 1/2 tsp
- cinnamon, 2tsp
- saffron, 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Butter or ghee, 1/4 cup
- Salt and Pepper as desired
Loobia Polo. Cooking:
Saute onion in a half of oil till translucent. Add green beans fry for 5 minutes, stir in cubed lamb or beef in, keep stirring till all the juice is absorbed.
Then add seasoning (turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, salt) and tomato paste, saute 2 minutes more (don’t over fry, frying tomato paste helps it show a more beautiful orange-golden colour).
Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for about 1 hour till meat is tender (not fully cooked, because it will be cooked more while simmering with rice).
Par-boil rice and drain in colander as instructed in cooking Polo or Chelo.
Place the pot on medium heat add the remaining oil with 1/8 cup of water to the bottom of the pot, let it come to a boil, sprinkle rice with a spatula on it, two or three spatula a time and a layer of Loobia-mixture over that, do it on alternate layers till all the staff are gone, pull sides up and shape a cone.
Poke 5 or 6 holes all the way through the bottom with the handle of the spatula. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, pour the melted butter over the top.
Wrap the lid of the pot with a paper towel and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping.
Cook another 10 minutes over medium heat till paper towel starts getting wet.
Set temperture on low and let it simmer for 3o minutes more.