Estamboli Polo Recipe - Persian Rice Dishes
Persian Classics,  Persian Rice,  Uncategorized

Estamboli Polo – Persian Spiced Lamb Rice with Potato Fries

Estamboli Polo is a flavourful rice dish with tomato paste and spices in it, topped with crispy potato fries.

It’s similar to Loobia Polo with the only differences that Estamboli Polo doesn’t have green green beans in it and it involves a few more spices and herbs, plus it is topped with fries.

Every family has their own way of preparing Estamboli Polow. Some prepare it with tomatoes in it. The dish with tomatoes however doesn’t have meat in it and is called Dami Goje. That being said, you should prepare your Estamboli Polo any way you like, so if you like both meat and tomatoes, by all means go ahead. You should love what you cook and eat after all.

For this dish you first prepare the sauce for the rice, then parboil the rice and finally combine the two and let the rice absorb the tasty sauce while they’re steaming together over low heat. It takes a bit of time but not much effort at all. The preparation is simple and straight forward. All the magic happens while the food is cooking and you relax and wait, or spend time with your loved ones.

Estamboli Polo Recipe - Persian Lamb Rice with Fries | Authentic Persian recipes by igotitfrommymaman.com
Persian Cookery Classes - Hami Sharafi

Did you know? I now offer Live online cook-along classes, in which we prepare one particular dish together in real time. We go in depth and learn all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to master the dish. The groups are kept small, so that you can ask as many questions as you like and receive personalised advice from me. Book an online cooking class with me

Support my mission of making Persian cuisine mainstream and become a patron for weekly insider tips and tricks, all about Persian food, ingredients, food styling and photography and a forever 20% discount on all my cookery classes.

Ingredients (for 4 portions of Estamboli Polo)

500g / 1.1 lbs lamb leg or shoulder

1/2 piece beef bone with marrow (optional)

500g / 2.5 cups basmati rice

3 medium sized potatoes (450g/1lbs) [optional]

1 medium onion

7 cloves garlic

1 cup + 9 tbsp vegetable oil (the 1 cup/240ml are for the fries)

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp saffron

2 tbsp salt + more to taste

2 ice cubes to bloom the saffron (alternatively you can use a few tbsp hot water)

Grade 1 Saffron - Top Quality Saffron by Scarlet Saffron
Save 10% on your order at scarlet-saffron.com with the voucher code IGIFMM.

Time

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 2 h 45 min

Total: 3 h 15 min

Method for cooking Estamboli Polo

Prep the ingredients

Transfer the ice cubes into a glass. Sprinkle the saffron over them and set it aside for later.

Finely chop the onions and garlic.

Cut the lamb leg or shoulder into approx. 1 inch / 2.5cm large cubes.

Cook the sauce

Sauté the lamb pieces in 4 tbsp hot vegetable oil for about until they are golden brown from each side. 

Bring 2.5 cups/700ml water to boil in a kettle.

Remove the meat from the pan, leaving the oil in. Add 2 more tbsp vegetable oil, if necessary. 

Gently sauté the finely chopped onions in the same oil over low to medium temperature for about 3 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté them together for another minute.

Now add the tomato paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, dried oregano and black pepper to the meat, onions and garlic. Let everything sauté together for about 30 seconds while stirring, then add 2.5cups/700ml freshly boiled water to the pan and combine everything well.

Additionally I added a beef bone with marrow for extra flavour, but this is optional.

But on the lid and let the sauce simmer for 2.5h over low heat. Once the sauce is ready, add the saffron water to it and stir it in.

Parboil the rice

Wash the rice by moving it around in a bowl of water, draining it, adding fresh water, and repeating this process 4 to 5 times.

Bring water to boil in a large pan. Add 2 tbsp of salt.

Once the water is boiling add the rice to it and briefly stir to make sure it does not stick together. 

After 2 to 5 minutes (depending on the rice you use) fish out a rice corn and either bite or cut through it. The rice corn should only be cooked by about a third. The very outer layer of the rice corn should be soft and look translucent and 2/3 in the centre should still be firm and appear opaque white.

Usually we let the rice half cook, but for dishes like Estamboli Polo and Loobia Polo the rice should be more than al dente, because it will soften further in the pan. 

Drain the rice in a colander and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. This will interrupt the cooking process as well as wash off any excess salt.

Layer the rice and sauce

If you like, you can make a potato tahdig with this dish. Tahdig is the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan. Wether you want to make it with potatoes or keep it simple with rice only, it will turn out heavenly!

If you want to make potato tahdig, peel one of the potatoes cut it in about 0.5cm/0.2″ thin slices.

Add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil to a coated or cast aluminium pan with lid over medium heat. Then lay the potato slices in the bottom of the pan. Let the potato slices sizzle in the oil for about a minute, before you add the first layer of rice.

Now add thin a layer of parboiled rice. Add some sauce, including a few chunks of meat. Continue with thin a layer of rice and so on, until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of sauce.

Poke a few holes through the rice with the back of a wooden spoon. Line the lid with a clean kitchen towel. Put on the lid, reduce the temperature to low and let the Estamboli Polo steam for 45 min. 

Fry the chips/fries (optional)

If you want to serve skinny fries with you Estamboli Polo, you can start preparing them now. Peel and wash the remaining 2 potatoes.

Cut them into skinny fries shape (0.5cm/0.2″ thin). First cut them in slices, then into sticks.

Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a frying pan. The temperature should be hot but not too hot, so the fries are cooked through without burning on the surface.

Make sure any excess moisture is removed from the fries before you transfer them into the hot oil. Let them fry gently for at least 10 minutes until golden and crispy.

Remove them from the oil and lay them on a plate with a paper towel to allow the excess oil to get absorbed. Serve them quickly while they are hot and crispy.

Time to serve

Your delicious Estamboli Polo is now ready to serve! Serve it with refreshing Salad Shirazi, torshi (pickles) and/or creamy yogurt. Be good and don’t fight over the tahdig!  Enjoy!


5 from 1 vote
Print

Estamboli Polo – Persian Spiced Lamb Rice with Potato Fries

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Estamboli Polo, lamb rice, rice dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 500 g lamb leg or shoulder (1.1 lbs)
  • 1/2 piece beef bone with marrow (optional)
  • 500 g basmati rice (2.5 cups)
  • 3 medium sized potatoes [optional] (450g/1lbs)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 240 ml vegetable oil (for the fries) (1 cup)
  • 9 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp salt + more to taste
  • 2 ice cubes to bloom the saffron (alternatively you can use a few tbsp hot water)

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

  1. Transfer the ice cubes into a glass. Sprinkle the saffron over them and set it aside for later.

  2. Cut the lamb leg or shoulder into approx. 1 inch / 2.5cm large cubes.

Cook the sauce

  1. Sauté the lamb pieces in 4 tbsp hot vegetable oil for about until they are golden brown from each side. 

  2. Bring 2.5 cups/700ml water to boil in a kettle.

  3. Remove the meat from the pan, leaving the oil in. Add 2 more tbsp vegetable oil, if necessary. 

  4. Gently sauté the finely chopped onions in the same oil over low to medium temperature for about 3 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté them together for another minute.

  5. Now add the tomato paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, dried oregano and black pepper to the meat, onions and garlic. Let everything sauté together for about 30 seconds while stirring, then add 2.5cups/700ml freshly boiled water to the pan and combine everything well.

  6. Additionally I added a beef bone with marrow for extra flavour, but this is optional. 

  7. But on the lid and let the sauce simmer for 2.5h over low heat. Once the sauce is ready, add the saffron water to it and stir it in.

Parboil the rice

  1. Wash the rice by moving it around in a bowl of water, draining it, adding fresh water, and repeating this process 4 to 5 times.

  2. Bring water to boil in a large pan. Add 2 tbsp of salt.

  3. Once the water is boiling add the rice to it and briefly stir to make sure it does not stick together. 

  4. After 2 to 5 minutes (depending on the rice you use) fish out a rice corn and either bite or cut through it. The rice corn should only be cooked by about a third. The very outer layer of the rice corn should be soft and look translucent and 2/3 in the centre should still be firm and appear opaque white. 

  5. Usually we let the rice half cook, but for dishes like Estamboli Polo and Loobia Polo the rice should be more than al dente, because it will soften further in the pan. 

  6. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. This will interrupt the cooking process as well as wash off any excess salt.

  7. Layer the rice and sauce

  8. If you like, you can make a potato tahdig with this dish. Tahdig is the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan. Wether you want to make it with potatoes or keep it simple with rice only, it will turn out heavenly!

  9. If you want to make potato tahdig, peel one of the potatoes cut it in about 0.5cm/0.2″ thin slices.

  10. Add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil to a coated or cast aluminium pan with lid over medium heat. Then lay the potato slices in the bottom of the pan. Let the potato slices sizzle in the oil for about a minute, before you add the first layer of rice.

  11. Now add thin a layer of parboiled rice. Add some sauce, including a few chunks of meat. Continue with thin a layer of rice and so on, until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of sauce.

  12. Poke a few holes through the rice with the back of a wooden spoon. Line the lid with a clean kitchen towel. Put on the lid, reduce the temperature to low and let the Estamboli Polo steam for 45 min. 

Fry the chips/fries (optional)

  1. If you want to serve skinny fries with you Estamboli Polo, you can start preparing them now. Peel and wash the remaining 2 potatoes. 

  2. Cut them into skinny fries shape (0.5cm/0.2″ thin). First cut them in slices, then into sticks.

  3. Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a frying pan. The temperature should be hot but not too hot, so the fries are cooked through without burning on the surface.

  4. Make sure any excess moisture is removed from the fries before you transfer them into the hot oil. Let them fry gently for at least 10 minutes until golden and crispy.

  5. Remove them from the oil and lay them on a plate with a paper towel to allow the excess oil to get absorbed. Serve them quickly while they are hot and crispy.

Time to serve

  1. Your delicious Estamboli Polo is now ready to serve! Serve it with refreshing Salad Shirazitorshi (pickles) and/or creamy yogurt. Be good and don’t fight over the tahdig!  Enjoy!

Estamboli Polo Recipe - Persian Lamb Rice with Fries | Authentic Persian recipes by igotitfrommymaman.com

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, I’m always happy to help. 

I’d love to see your Estamboli Polo! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

Wanna save this recipe for later? You can print out the printable version above or pin it to your recipe board.

Looking for more Persian recipes? Here are my Persian classics!

Do you wanna learn more about Persian cooking? Sign up to Maman’s recipe mail so you will get notified of new recipes on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!

2 Comments

  • A Panahi

    5 stars
    Although I don’t cook very often, I often visit, since your food look and sound great. I just have a couple of questions. I wonder if the 1/4 tsp of saffron, meant to be 1/4 tsp of saffron WATER? Also, I don’t know how much saffron is in 1 tsp of saffron water?

    • Hami

      Hi there, thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying my recipes.

      By 1/4 tsp saffron I mean the saffron itself. You can fill a quarter of a tsp with ground saffron or saffron threads and sprinkle them over 2 ice cubes (or alternatively cover them with about 4 to 5 tbsp freshly boiled water). When it’s time to use the saffron the ice cubes will have melted (if you used ice cubes) and you just use all the saffron water.

      I hope this helps. Let me know anytime if you have any more questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.