Loobia Polo (The Perfect Persian Green Bean Rice)
Loobia Polo is one of the most delicious yet nostalgic Persian recipes that can take every Iranian to those rainy days in winter when they open the door and feel the aroma of Loobia Polo and the warmth of the house. By looking at the recipes of different cultures, there are only a few dishes similar to the complex palate of Loobia Polo. The closest equivalent to this meal is Mexican rice, but the pixie dust of Persian spices takes this dish to another level and makes it one of the most delicious rice dishes all over the world. You can look at the color, feel the texture, and let your mind capture the special moment of smelling the tempting aroma of Loobia Polo and then its taste.
Today, we are going to tell you the easiest way to make a perfect Loobia Polo, which is ideal for vegans, vegetarians, and meat lovers. However, first of all, let’s take a look at what you need to start cooking.
What Do You Need to Make Loobia Polo?
Cooking is the art of collecting different and yet relevant ingredients and combining them to create a masterpiece. The wonderful collage of colors and tastes in Loobia Polo has been given to us from one generation to another as a recipe to hold dearly and pass to other people in order to enjoy.
Rice: The inseparable part of Persian cuisine is rice for sure. You can mostly find rice next to every Persian stew or Khorsht. But in this case, the combination of rice and other ingredients is perfectly enough to make an excellent meal. The different features of Persian rice and what makes it unique from other types of rice in Asia is the aroma and the texture of it. Persian rice keeps its texture, and it does not find a squashy, sticky form easily.
For making Loobia Polo, you need to soak rice with warm water and a handful of salt and let it soak for a few hours. Also, you can use brown rice, which is a more nutritious option for those who care more about their diet,. However, you wouldn’t be cooking a traditional Iranian Loobia Polo anymore.
The carbohydrates in rice can give you a good amount of energy to continue your day and do your activities effectively. Therefore, Loobia Polo can be a great option for your lunch. However, there is no limitation if you want to try it for dinner, as well. Some people even like having leftover Loobia Polo for their breakfast.
Green Beans may not sound like your favorite ingredient, but its combination with other parts of Loobia Polo will change your opinion about them. When it comes to nutrition green beans can act as a perfect package. Green bean is a rich source of folic acid and fiber, which helps with the function of your heart. Also, by using green beans, you can receive a good amount of vitamins A, C, and K. Besides the nutritious side of it, green beans can make your dish look outstanding as well.
There are many different kinds of red meat( lamb or veal) that can be used in Loobia Polo. It totally depends on your taste, but Iranians usually prefer lamb meat which is softer and more delicious. If you want to feel the pure taste of the meat you can slice it into pieces, but using ground meat is popular as well. However, for having a more good looking Loobia Polo, making meatballs is a great idea.
Tomato or Tomato Sauce:
To give your meal a beautiful red color, you need to use tomatoes, but the way you use them is your choice. You can easily chop the tomato or grindle it. If you do not like to see the texture of tomatoes, you can just use some tomato paste to have the color.
Note: It is better to use them both to make Loobia Polo beautiful and nutritious at the same time.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamin C. The phosphorus in them can give you energy and make your body and mind work well.
When it comes to Persian cuisine, one of the first things you do for cooking a meal is making fried onion. Nothing more than fried onion can make your meal taste wonderfully delicious. The golden and shiny fried onion is not only beautiful but also very tasty. However, if you do not like big slices of onion, you can use a grate to make the onion disappear inside Loobia Polo and only leave behind its aroma and taste.
First of all, if you are using meat, you need to decide which kind would suit you best. In the case of using sliced or ground meat, you need to saute them a little bit with chopped onion and pepper. However, for giving your Loobia Polo a better look, you can make tiny meatballs.
How to Make Meatballs?
You need to have ground meat and add salt, pepper, saffron, and one optional spoon of chickpea flour to it. Then, mix all the ingredients very well and let it rest for about half an hour. After that, you can shape them in your hand and deep fry them.
You need to cut the green beans in your desired size and fry them a little.
Add the green beans, tomatoes, tomato paste to the meat, and then add salt, pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon to it. In this step, you can use saffron powder or brew some. In order to do so, you should put some saffron in a cup and add a little boiling water and ice to have a perfect color then add it to the rest of the ingredients.
There are two methods for making rice which you can choose based on your preferences.
First: You can add some oil and brewed saffron in the pot. Then, add all the ingredients and the soaked rice to it. In the next step, you should mix them well and pour two cups of water into the pot, then let it be cooked. After 20 minutes, if you think the rice is still raw you can add more water to it. This method is faster, easier and more nutritious.
For the second method which is used in restaurant and cooking for gatherings,
you can pour a little bit of brewed saffron in your pot and add some oil to have a perfect Tahdig( the crusted layer at the bottom of the pot), then put a layer of rice, add the fried stuff as the second layer and continue until you are out of ingredients. For this method, adding half of a cup would be enough.
When there is no water left inside the pot, you can turn down the hit a little bit and let the food cook for 45 minutes. However, before that, If the rice is still raw, you can add some extra water. After this step, you can mix the rice and add some oil or butter to it and enjoy the heavenly taste of Loobia Polo.
How to Make a Vegan and Vegetarian Loobia Polo
In order to make a Vegan or Vegetarian Loobia Polo, the only thing you need to do is omitting the meat. Not using meat does not make your dish less perfect. Since green beans give you some protein, using meat is optional. If you are looking for more protein in your Loobia Polo, you can use small soy meat, tofu and any kind of vegan meat that you like as well.
For having a delicious vegan and vegetarian Loobia Polo, you should fry the onion with your preferred protein source, green beans, and tomatoes. Then you can fry the tomato paste in a different frypan to have a gorgeous color and add it to the other ingredients.
The next steps are totally similar to making Loobia Polo with meat. You can use both two methods to make your rice and enjoy your healthy, delicious and fantastic vegan/vegetarian Loobia Polo.
If you ask me, you should try Loobia Polo with Salad Shirazi, which is the combination of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion in a delicious sauce made of verjuice (or Lime juice), salt, pepper, and dried mint.
Type: Main Course
Keywords: Loobia Polo,
Recipe Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 40 for each tablespoon
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1:30 hours