Lubia Polo is one of our staple dishes in our household. It is tasty, nutritious, colourful and satisfying. Back in the day we used to enjoy this rice dish with roasted chicken or lamb however being vegan for over 3 years and vegetarian for many years before that, our substitute is either enjoying this dish with sautéed tofu or adding soya mince into the dish.
Here is how to make Lubia Polo.
- 3 cups of white basmati rice
- 2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen work well. If the beans are long, cut them in half so they are bite-size
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tbsp olive/sunflower oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- We will be cooking the rice ‘al-dente’ as we will be layering the rice and green bean filling. Wash the rice really well until the water runs clear
- In a saucepan add the rice with 8 cups of water, 1 tsp of sea-salt and 1 tsp sunflower oil and bring to boil, leaving it to boil for 5 minutes before draining
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan, add the oil, tomato puree, cinnamon powder, salt and turmeric and mix well together
- Add the green beans and saute for 5 minutes **add soya mince now if using
- Add 1 cup of water, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, until the beans are tender
- Take another large non-stick saucepan and add a little oil (2 tbsp) to the bottom, a sprinkling of sea salt, a pinch of saffron along with 2 tbsp of hot water and swirl the ingredients around for a couple of minutes before adding a thin layer of rice. In Persian cooking, we like a crispy bottom to our rice dishes and to reduce the amount of rice that gets used up for this, we use thin slices of raw potato to cover the bottom of the saucepan before starting the layering process (rice / bean mix / rice / bean mix) until all ingredients have been used up
- Once all the mixture is in the sauce pan turn the heat up for 5 minutes, add 1 tbsp of oil around the top of the dish and a sprinkling of salt
- Cover the pan, turn heat down and cook for 25 minutes
- After 25 minutes check that the rice and beans are cooked and then turn the heat up so you can make the bottom layer (rice or potatoes) crisp up although not burn
- Once the dish is ready, find a large round serving dish and put onto of the saucepan and using oven gloves, gently turn over the rice pot onto the serving dish so the rice and the crisp bottom will come out whole (see picture below).
**To add some protein to vegan Lubia Polo, you can make this delicious ‘Tofu Bites’ dish https://virtuosofoods.com/2017/11/vegan-tofu-bites/ or you can add some soya mince to the dish. Here’s how:
You will need 1 cup soya mince, 2 tbsp soya sauce, 1.5 cups of hot water – mix all together. Add the soya mince to the green bean mix at stage 4 above and it will all cook together.