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The Hungry Nomad: Iranian Recipe: Lubia Polow (Persian Green beans and Rice)

September 4, 2012

Iranian Recipe: Lubia Polow (Persian Green beans and Rice)

Growing up Lubia Polow was always a favorite which in my world is best made by my mother. Somehow, nothing ever tastes as good as my mother and grandmother's cooking. But now that I'm all grown up, I've tried to follow her directions closely in order to have a similar tasting result. I've realized it rarely happens since I choose to use very little oil and/or butter while cooking. It seems the secret to that mouth watering taste is all in the butter. Who knew. 

Lubia Polow is a combination of chopped green beans, rice, meat, tomato paste and a pinch of cinnamon. It's quite simple to make and healthy if you increase the ratio of green beans to rice and meat.

Ingredients (serving 4)

1 Large onion, chopped
300-500 grams ground beef or beef/lamb stew meat
2 Cups green beans, cut, 1 cm in length
1 Teaspoon liquid saffron
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2oz can of tomato paste
1-2 Cup of Basmati Rice
salt and pepper to taste 



As all Persian cooking, it all begins with the fried onions. 
  1. Chop the onions into small pieces and fry slightly in oil until it turns golden in color. 
  2. Add beef/lamb or ground beef and cook until there is no pink showing. 
  3. Then add 1 tablespoon of turmeric. 
  4. Add salt and pepper to preferred taste. 
  5. Add one cup of warm water, put lid on and cook on medium heat for 1 hour. If all water evaporates add more. Once meat is cooked, add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. The end result must be a thick meaty paste.
Green Beans: 

While meat is cooking, wash green beans and chop into 1 cm pieces. Heat pan, add olive oil and slightly fry the beans.  Once the meat and sauce is thick, add green beans to the meat sauce mix. 


Meanwhile, while preparing all the above, prepare your basmati rice.  
  1. Boil water, add a pinch of salt, add 1 cup of rice, cook over a low boil for a few minutes and remove/rinse. 
  2. Then place rice in a new pot, add cloth to the lid (for the evaporation to be absorbed) and cook on low heat. 
  3. While placing rice, place one layer of rice, one layer of meat sauce, and repeat. This allows for a perfect mixture. 
  4. Mix the sauce and rice so that there is no white rice remaining. 
  5. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon powder.
  6. Cook for 30-45 minutes. 
  7. Serve with condiments.

Every Iranian meal is best served with a side of Balkan style yogurt, herbs (fresh mint, basil, radish), torshee (Persian pickled vegetables), and Iranian salad (shirazi). 

Torshi- Housemade pickled vegetables

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