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Havij Polo
Carrot rice

By Linda Shetabi
May 7, 2001
The Iranian

This is one of my favorite childhood dishes our housekeeper mastered from my mom and later turned his nose to her version of it! It's inexpensive, filling and yummy. I think it's from the northwestern region of Iran but I'm not sure.


1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion
2 - 3 cups of shredded carrot (depending on how much you like carrot)
3 cups of rice
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of saffron
2 table spoons of adviyeh polo (you have to get the premixed version from Iranian supermarkets)

Feeds about 6

Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water on the ground saffron, cover and let it sit while you do the rest of the stuff. I got an extra coffee grinder for my wedding so I use that for saffron only, grind a batch and keep it in a small airtight spice bottle. It saves time and doesn't really affect the taste or aroma.

In a large trying pan, saute the onion in a little oil till golden brown, add the ground beef, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. When its almost cooked through pour 1/2 of the saffron water on the meat and turn down the heat and let it cook a little more.

Meanwhile bring the water for the rice to boil. Mix in the shredded carrots with the meat and cover the frying pan. We're not "frying the carrots, just cooking it until soft. Pour the washed rice in the boiling water. Depending on the type of rice you don't necessarily have to soak the rice a few hour.

Remove the carrot/meat mixture from heat when the carrots are soft and mix in 1 tablespoon of adviyeh polo. Drain the half cooked rice and pour plenty of oil on the bottom of the rice pot if you want tah deegh. Pour a layer of rice in the pot, followed with a layer of meat & carrot mixture and continue layering till both rice and the meat mixture is finished.

Pile up the rice mixture into a mountain the middle and poke a few holes in the center to allow the steam to escape. Finish off by sprinkling the remainder of the adviyeh and saffron. Cover and turn the heat on high. In 3 - 8 minutes wet you finger and gingerly tap the rice pot, if the moisture evaporate immediately, turn the heat down and let it "dam" (steam).

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