Lubia Polo is a dish with fairly modern roots in Persia, but it is my favourite rice dish. It’s not a classic Persian dish and is rarely served at formal dinners, but it’s a really tasty and attractive meal.
Although it’s taken quite a number of years to get right. The first time I made it, it was a case of ‘So would you like one lump or two with your mast-o-khiar?’ I realised much later that there was an art to cooking it so the ingredients didn’t turn all mushy. Today, I’m pleased to say my attempts are getting better – although still not perfect.
500g beef or lamb mince (You can also make it with diced beef/lamb or shredded beef/lamb)
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 medium hot green chillies
1 large potato
1 1/2 lb green beans
2 small tins of tomato puree
1-2 tablespoons of advieh
3 tablespoons of liquid saffron2 and a half cups of rice
1 tablespoon of butter
salt & pepper
- Chop the onion and crush the garlic. Fry in oil until golden brown. Add salt, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes longer.
- If you’re making it with mince, add the mince to the pan now and cook until brown.
- Fry the tomato puree with a tablespoon of oil in a small pan separately and add a dash of cinnamon.
- Wash and prepare the green beans and cut in quarters or leave lengthy. Boil for 10 minutes in a separate pan until the colour changes.
- Add the green beans to the pan with the mince and onion and fry briefly. Add the tomato puree to the pan.
- Cook the rice in water, salt and a little oil on high heat in a separate pan until it’s al dente. This roughly takes about 10 minutes. Turn out into a colander and drain.
- Cut the potato into rounds and then pour a little oil into the bottom of the rice pan. Add a layer of potato to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the rice back into the pan and layer with the green beans and mince mixture.
- Poke three holes into the rice mixture and add the butter.
- Pour the liquid saffron over the rice and leave to cook with a tea towel wrapped around the lid of the pan.
- Check the rice after half an hour. If the mixture seems to be too moist, don’t put the lid back on the pan fully.
- Cook for one and a half to two hours on a low heat.
- Serve on a large plate with mast-o-khiar.