Roxana Begum of ‘The Delicious Crescent‘ is multifaceted food blogger introduced to me by Rafeeda. Though Ramadan had already been started when I sent her the mail, she readily agreed to be part of the event ‘Joy From Fasting To Feasting’ and much to her promise she sent in this wonderful flavoured Persian Lubia Polo, which is much similar to Indian ‘Kheema Biryani’. As Roxana is a ‘Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’, she has listed the nutrition facts of the recipe below. I am going to try this Persian Lubia Polo soon….you too want to try it too???…then scroll for the recipe and don’t forget to stop by at The Delicious Crescent for more delicious recipes.
Assalamu Alaikum. Ramadan Kareem. I would like to start with thanking Lubna Karim of Yummy Food, for this kind invitation to share my recipe post here. I felt very delighted and honored to have got this invite. And I am so happy to share this, along with so many awesome bloggers and to connect with each one of you.
After much deliberation and being a Nutritionist, I decided to go with something that is a wholesome and delicious meal. Ramadan is a time of much prayers, religious contemplation and a really busy time for the homemaker who is juggling between spiritual activities and family responsibilities. So I wanted to share something that will be simple and easy to make.
I wanted it to be something that anyone, anywhere in the world could make; while being a dish that is unique to most people. Being married into a family of Persian heritage, I have been cooking Persian recipes for several years now. It is a cuisine that is so rich with scrumptious and stunning recipes. While the recipe I chose is an easy comfort food, it also happens to be a popular dish. So here I present to you – Persian Lubia Polo – a rice dish layered with green beans, spiced ground meat, herbs, lemon and infused with saffron.
Healthy eating is important all the time, but it becomes even more important to pay particular attention to what we eat and how we eat in this month. Things to consider – and the first and foremost thing I would say is to follow the traditions of our Prophet (saws) with diet and nutrition. Every time I read about his favorite foods, his recommendations for how and what to eat, it amazes me how much it fits in with what science has found so many centuries later.
These are long days of fasting – so it would be important to have a meal that includes slow digesting complex carbohydrates, good amount of high quality protein, adequate healthy fats, fiber and hydration. So, in this particular recipe I decided to sneak in some brown rice to add to the fiber that is already there from green beans. Plus, it also adds good amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The ground lamb provides a good amount of protein. And the starch from the rice provides complex carbs. The dish is adequately supplied with healthy fats from olive oil. That reminds me – the Prophet (saws) liked olives very much. He was also an ardent supporter of fiber rich foods. There is a hadith which mentions the Prophet (saws) asking a woman to put the bran back into the bread, when he found out that she had separated the bran from the flour. So here we “put the bran back with some brown basmati rice” in this recipe, following the Prophet (saws).
Make sure to stay well hydrated. Eat water rich fruits such as strawberries, melons, oranges, berries etc. The protein and fiber in this recipe will help fill you up very well. And the slow digesting carbs and fat help with satiety. Especially for Suhoor make sure to avoid greasy food such as fried items, keep salt low and avoid refined sugar. Start the day with plenty of protein, fiber, optimum fat, hydrating fruits and veggies.
Try this easy wholesome Persian Lubia Polo and feel satiated and satisfied, so that you may focus on what is most important in this month – Prayers, charity and such! Hope you like it inshaAllah. Nush-e Jan! (Bon Appetit in Persian).
Servings: 10 Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories 291, Total Fat 8 g (Saturated Fat 2 g), Cholesterol 41 mg, Sodium 295* mg, Potassium 495 mg, Total Carbohydrate 37 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Sugars 3 g, Protein 17 g
* The suggested amount of salt is just a guideline and may need to be adjusted. Check for any added salt in spice mixes and other ingredients and adjust.
Persian Lubia Polo
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
- 1 ⅓ cups white basmati rice, rinsed*
- 2/3 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed*
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 pound 90% lean ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon advieh (Persian spice mix or alternative mixed spice)
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper, adjust per taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or savory
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust as needed
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon powder or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste or 6 ounce container regular tomato paste
- 1 pound green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 teaspoon saffron, powdered and dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
- Bring 1 ⅓* cups of water to a rolling boil in a sauce pan. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 3/4 tablespoon olive oil. Then add 2/3 cup brown basmati rice, stir and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to cook until all the water is absorbed for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Bring 4 cups of water and 3/4 tablespoon salt to a boil in a cooking pot. Add the white basmati rice and let it boil at medium high to high heat for 5-6 minutes until the rice grains are soft. Make sure to stir the rice while it is cooking. Drain the rice well in a colander and set aside.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil at medium setting in a cooking pot. Add the chopped onions and sauté few minutes. Then add the grated garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are light golden brown. Add the sliced ground lamb and sauté.
- Then add all the spices, dried herbs, remaining salt (advieh through lemon powder) and stir all for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add the tomato paste and mix it well. Then add the green beans and stir. If the mixture is too thick, may add a tiny bit of water, cover and let it simmer until the beans are 3/4th done. It will continue to cook in the steaming process in the next steps. Make sure that the mixture is not too wet.
- Place the white/brown rice mixture with the sautéed meat/green bean mixture in several alternating layers in a heavy bottomed cooking pot. Sprinkle 3/4 tablespoon oil and saffron water all over. Turn up the heat to medium high for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to the low setting and simmer for about 20 minutes or more until the steam builds up well.
- Once the rice is ready, turn off the heat. Gently and lightly mix the layers the Persian Green bean rice.
- Serve this Persian Lubia Polo with a yogurt salad such as Persian Yogurt Dip with Shallots or a green salad, pickles and/or pickled olives.
- I used 1 ½ times volume of water to cook the brown rice. But if you need double the volume then try that, as it can vary with the age of the rice.
- Cooking time and water used for white basmati rice may vary with the age of rice.
- Rinse the basmati rice several times, until the water is clear and not starchy.
- The amount of water added while cooking the rice is very important to the final texture of this recipe.
- It is important to keep in mind the additional moisture from the other ingredients added to this Persian Green bean rice, such as the tomato paste, green beans and onions. Therefore, in the first step, the rice should be cooked in a way to yield a fluffy rice, but holds its shape well and is not too wet and delicate.
Thank you Roxana for being part of this event and sharing such a wonderful pilaf.
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