Loobia Polo - Persian Lamb and Green Bean Rice Recipe
Lamb Dishes,  Persian Classics,  Persian Rice

Loobia Polo – Persian Lamb and Green Bean Rice

Loobia Polo is (besides kabab) my absolute favourite dish! I know you heard me say this many times, “today’s dish is one of my faves…”. It is true, I have many favourite dishes. But if you’re asking for THE favourite, I promise you it’s Loobia Polo… (if you don’t have a bbq at hand)! No, jk, this delicious rice dish with tender lamb and green beans deserves to be my number one.

Every family has their own way of preparing Loobia Polo and most importantly their own preference on what it should be eaten with. Torshi, (pickled vegetables) are a popular side, as well as yogurt. If you ask me, delicious creamy yogurt is a must for the perfect Loobia Polo experience.

For this dish you first prepare the sauce for the rice, then pre-cook 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 long 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.

Loobia Polo Recipe | Persian Lamb and Green Bean Rice | igotitfrommymaman.com

Ingredients (for 6 to 8 portions of Loobia Polo)

1 kg / 2.2 lbs lamb leg

1 beef bone with marrow (optional)

730g / 3 3/4 cups basmati rice

800g / 5 cups green beans

2 medium onions

6 cloves garlic

110g / 1/2 cup tomato paste

5 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp ghee (cleared butter)

1 cinnamon stick

3 tsp cinnamon powder

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp saffron

2.5 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp salt + more to taste

Time

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 4 h

Total: 4 h 30 min

Loobia Polo Recipe | Persian Lamb and Green Bean Rice | igotitfrommymaman.com

Method for cooking Loobia Polo

Prep the ingredients

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

Finely chop the onions and garlic.

Fry the lamb pieces in 5 tbsp hot vegetable oil until they are golden brown from each side. This takes approx. 15 min.

Remove the meat from the pan, leaving the oil in.

Gently fry the finely chopped onions in the same oil over low to medium temperature for about 10 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and fry them together for another 5 minutes.

Cook the sauce

Add the tomato paste and briefly fry it together with the onions and garlic. Then add 4 cups of freshly boiled water to it. Season with the turmeric, black pepper and salt. Also add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. I also added a beef bone with marrow for extra flavour but this is optional. Let this sauce simmer for approx. 10 minutes over medium heat.

Now transfer the sauce and meat into a pan that has a a lid. If the sauce is already in the ideal pan, just add the meat and let it simmer gently over low to medium heat with the lid on for about 2 h.

In the meantime transfer the saffron in a cup or glass and combine it with a few tbsp of freshly boiled water. Keep it in a warm place, for instance near the pan with the simmering sauce and let it brew there.

Wash the green beans and chop them into 1 inch / 2.5cm long pieces. Fry them in the olive oil over medium heat for about 15 minutes until they are nicely browned.

Add the fried beans and the saffron water to the sauce once it has been simmering for 2 h. Bring the sauce to boil and let it cook over high temperature for about 15 minutes. The sauce is now ready.

Pre-cook 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 12 cups / 3 l of 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 approx. 3 minutes fish out a rice corn and either bite or cut through it. When the rice corn is soft on the outside and still firm inside, it means the rice is pre-cooked. This can take up to 10 minutes depending on you rice. I’m using Tilda basmati rice which only takes 3 minutes to cook to this stage.

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

Add 3 tbsp of ghee (cleared butter) to the pan you want to finish cooking your Loobia Polo in. Also add 2 tbsp of hot water.

Now add 1/3 of the sauce and sprinkle approx. 1 tsp of cinnamon powder on top. Then add 1/3 of the rice. Repeat these steps twice more, so all the ingredients are used up.

Poke holes through the rice with the back of a wooden spoon. Heat the pan over medium temperature. Line the lid with a clean kitchen towel. As soon as steam rises from the rice, put the lid on.

Reduce the temperature to low and let the Loobia Polo steam for 1 h.

Submerge the bottom of the pan into a sink filled with a bit of cold water so the tadig, the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan, comes off easily.

Your delicious Loobia Polo is now ready to serve! Serve it with creamy yogurt, torshi (pickles), and if you like sabzi khordan (a variation fresh herbs). Be good and don’t fight over the tadig! 🙂 Enjoy!

Tadig anyone?

Loobia Polo – Persian Lamb and Green Bean Rice

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword green beans, lamb, loobia polo, Rice, rice dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 6 people
Author Hami

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs lamb leg (1 kg)
  • 1 beef bone with marrow (optional)
  • 3 3/4 cups basmati rice (730 g)
  • 5 cups green beans (800 g)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (110 g)
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp ghee (cleared butter)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 2.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt + more to taste

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

  1. Cut the lamb leg into approx. 1 inch / 2.5cm large cubes.
  2. Finely chop the onions and garlic.
  3. Fry the lamb pieces in 5 tbsp hot vegetable oil until they are golden brown from each side. This takes approx. 15 min.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan, leaving the oil in.
  5. Gently fry the finely chopped onions in the same oil over low to medium temperature for about 10 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and fry them together for another 5 minutes.

Cook the sauce

  1. Add the tomato paste and briefly fry it together with the onions and garlic. Then add 4 cups of freshly boiled water to it. Season with the turmeric, black pepper and salt. Also add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. I also added a beef bone with marrow for extra flavour but this is optional. Let this sauce simmer for approx. 10 minutes over medium heat.

  2. Now transfer the sauce and meat into a pan that has a a lid. If the sauce is already in the ideal pan, just add the meat and let it simmer gently over low to medium heat with the lid on for about 2 h.
  3. In the meantime transfer the saffron in a cup or glass and combine it with a few tbsp of freshly boiled water. Keep it in a warm place, for instance near the pan with the simmering sauce and let it brew there.

  4. Wash the green beans and chop them into 1 inch / 2.5cm long pieces. Fry them in the olive oil over medium heat for about 15 minutes until they are nicely browned.

  5. Add the fried beans to the sauce once it has been simmering for 2 h. Bring the sauce to boil and let it cook over high temperature for about 15 minutes. The sauce is now ready.

Pre-cook 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 12 cups / 3 l of 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 approx. 3 minutes fish out a rice corn and either bite or cut through it. When the rice corn is soft on the outside and still firm inside, it means the rice is pre-cooked. This can take up to 10 minutes depending on you rice. I’m using Tilda basmati rice which only takes 3 minutes to cook to this stage.
  5. 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

  1. Add 3 tbsp of ghee (cleared butteto the pan you want to finish cooking your Loobia Polo in. Also add 2 tbsp of hot water.
  2. Now add 1/3 of the sauce and sprinkle approx. 1 tsp of cinnamon powder on top. Then add 1/3 of the rice. Repeat these steps twice more, so all the ingredients are used up.
  3. Poke holes through the rice with the back of a wooden spoon. Heat the pan over medium temperature. Line the lid with a clean kitchen towel. As soon as steam rises from the rice, put the lid on.
  4. Reduce the temperature to low and let the Loobia Polo steam for 1 h.
  5. Submerge the bottom of the pan into a sink filled with a bit of cold water so the tadig, the crispy part of the rice from the bottom of the pan, comes off easily.
  6. Your delicious Loobia Polo is now ready to serve! Serve it with creamy yogurt, torshi (pickles), and if you like sabzi khordan (a variation fresh herbs). Be good and don’t fight over the tadig! 🙂 Enjoy!

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 Loobia Polo! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

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

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Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!

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