Recipe for ‘Lubya Polou’

Now this is one of my favourite Persian rice dishes. How do I know how to make this dear reader? Only By watching Minoo in the kitchen (after all my real talent lies in eating Persian food rather than cooking it..).

‘Lubya Polou’ (Persian Green Bean Rice)


1 can of chopped tomatoes

400 grams green beans, sliced into about half-finger lengths (Wait, that’s not very scientific it depends how big your fingers are..).

600 grams rice washed and drained in a colander (The Beech family swears by basmati- despite the recent price rise we are rice addicts..)

500 grams minced beef (in Iran diced meat seems more popular, me, I prefer minced beef)

1 large finely diced onion

Teaspoon of Turmeric

Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of saffron

Cooking oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Fry minced beef and chopped onions for about seven to ten minutes on a high heat, stirring all the while. Add turmeric, cinnamon, saffron and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped tomatoes and green beans, cook mixture for another five minutes or so.

At the same time par-boil basmati rice in a separate large non-stick pan. (This is a bit of an art- use about one measure of water to a measure of rice so it does not go mushy). When par-boiled remove rice from pan and pour a little oil to cover base. Put pan back on the cooker to heat up the oil.

Put rice and meat mixture back into the large pan. Now this is the technical bit… Add the ingredients a layer at a time. A layer of rice, a layer of mixture, get the idea? (This is to avoid mashing the rice).

Use a clean cloth to cover the top of the pan, put the lid back on the pan, and cook on a very low heat for about forty minutes. When ready ‘flip back’ the rice on to a serving dish. (I know this is a risky procedure).It should theoretically pop out in a nice pan shape with a crust of fried rice the Iranians call ‘tah diq’. Serve hot with salad.


4 thoughts on “Recipe for ‘Lubya Polou’

  1. These recipes are wonderful, thanks so much for sharing them! Your wife Minoo must be an excellent cook. Her recipes are the only Persian recipes I have found on the Internet that resemble my mother’s. Just one question: roughly how many do they serve? I am thinking of making my (non-Iranian) in-laws the Lubya Polo tomorrow. Or possibly the Fesenjun – can’t decide.

  2. Leila I am very pleased that you find the recipes helpful and thank you for the kind words about my wife’s cooking! The Lubya Polu recipe serves 4-5 people. I think I have indicated the number of people the recipe serves in the other recipes. With regards to the choice between Lubya Polu and Fesenjun I would suggest that Lubya Polou may be a better introductory dish for guests unfamiliar with Iranian cuisine.

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