#2 Weekend Cooking – Loobia Polo Recipe

This weekend i thought i would cook for my family, this rarely happens because truth be told i can’t cook. Well i say that i can’t, i can if i put my mind to it and what i can cook is quite limited. I decided to try something completely new and cook a dish that i absolutely love but don’t get to eat much at all. Being half Iranian but living in the UK without any of my Iranian family around means i don’t get to eat Persian food as much as i would like to.

My favourite Persian dish is Loobia Polo which in short is green beans, lamb/beef and rice. I can’t describe the taste at all but it’s the perfect savoury rice dish and it makes my mouth water just thinking of it. My mum is amazing at cooking this even though she’s English so i did the SOS call to ask her for a helping hand i also went round for a quick pep talk on how i recreate the dish her way, which to me is perfect.

To compliment the rice as although i can eat it on it’s own others may not i made Persian kebab, i put my boyfriend in charge of this as he is ALOT better at cooking and i really had to focus on the rice dish. If you’re interested in cooking Persian kebab you can click here to look at the recipe i used i followed the same steps except swapped the lamb for beef!

The ingredients i used are:

1 Large onion, chopped
250g Diced beef
2 Cups green beans, cut, 1 cm in length
1 1/2 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Cup of basmati rice salt and pepper to taste ( i used this whilst boiling the rice)

I broke down the recipe into sections to help me keep control in the kitchen as i’m not the best with multiple pots going at one time. It’s up to you how you do it but i found this made my life so much easier.

First i started with the meat which then turns into our sauce:
1. Fry your chopped onions in oil until slightly golden and then add the beef and cook until no longer pink
2. Add 2 tablespoon of turmeric
3. Add half a cup of warm water and turn down the heat to simmer

I then moved onto my green beans which in a separate pan i added oil and lightly fried them until soft. The meat sauce should now start to get thicker, once this is the case add in your green beans and once again let simmer.

Last of the sections is the rice, as we are using basmati rice you want to add cold water to a pan, add the rice and you will see the water goes cloudy. Basmati rice can stick to the pan so be sure to stir frequently until done.

In another larger pot layer some rice along the bottom then add a  layer of sauce, repeat this until you have nothing left.

Now for the *IMPORTANT* part of the recipe:

1. Move the contents of the pot away from the sides and create a dome like shape – it cannot touch the sides!!!
2. Using the end of your cooking utensil make 3 holes in the middle of the rice – this allows the sauce to cook through the rice properly *I cannot stress how important this is.
3. Turn your heat to simmer and allow 30 minutes to cook through
4. Finally serve and enjoy!

Your finished product should look like this in the pot (apologies for the god awful phone photo)

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