Healthy and Easy: Loobia Polo


by Monda

I can't think of a "healthier" or "any easier" loobia polo. If you can, please comments below.

This dish needs, per person:

1 cup white basmati rice (I buy Royal from Costco), rinsed well several times. The more rinsed, the fluffier cooked rice will be). Better soak dry rice in salted water, for at least a couple hours, before cooking.

Green beans (loobia sabs/green), clean cut into couple centimeters, 1/2 cup per person

Stew Beef, lean, cut into couple cm again 1/2 cup per person

1 onion per each serving, cut in about 1 cm cubes (those with OCD give the cutting to others!) 

1 large can tomato sauce or 1 small tomato paste per 4 servings/4 cups of dry rice

Spices: Cinnamon, adviyeh polo (all spice for polo, if someone asks you what you like from Iran, I have not seen it sold by Iranian delis), turmeric, saffron, ground rose petals or rose water or both (optional but recommended for the traditional fragrance), salt & pepper of course.

1) Saute' on med low heat your loobia, meat and onion, in oiled pan (about 1/2 cup oil per 4 servings), stirring frequently. Add couple spoonfuls of turmeric.

Once you notice onions are golden and, meat and loobia are almost cooked, lower heat. On low heat add tomato sauce (if too acidic, I'd add 1 tblsp sugar per 1 can)and spices (to taste, start off with couple sprinkles of cinnamon, a pinch of saffron and see what you smell is enough to get you high :o) if not, increase dosage), same with dried rose petals or rose water (golaab). Let this sauce simmer for an hour or two on low heat, until meat and loobia are fully cooked/soft, and sauce has reduced to the thickness of a thick pasta sauce (I don't know how else to describe the consistency).

2) You should've started boiling water (1:1) for your rice before you hopped to sauteeing. If you haven't done so then this is good time to let your loobia-meat-onion mixture simmer on very low heat, while you cook your rice to hard-in-the-middle (about 10 mins?). Drain the water and transfer to a nonstick oiled pot (I leave it to you: if you like tahdeeg naan lavaash, it takes about 1 cup oil in a medium size pot; but if you like rice tahdeeg then you need 1-1/2 cups (if you have no cholestrol issues) 

3) With a spatula for rice and a big spoon for the meat-loobia sauce, start with rice in the bottom (mix the first layer wekk so your crispy rise tastes good), then sauce (mix the first layer well so your crispy rise/tahdeeg tastes good), and top off with butter (if you like). Some people like to add spices again at each layer (I do for special times) before putting the clothed lid on their pot.  Think a perfect mountain of rice layered with sauce, then at the peak of your mountain which should be white rice, dig a hole with the end of a wooden spoon so you get a perfect steam system going, allowing the rice to cook evenly in the pot. It should take about 45 minutes to an hour for a good tahdeeg on medium-low heat. Generously spit on your index finger and hit the side of the pot, if it says Jeezz, your tahdeeg should be ready.

When you serve the rice, make sure you gently mix the white and the sauce-coated rice before spreading it on your loved one's plate (or the family platter).

P.S.  Depending on your location altitude, your stove top functionality, etc., if you ever smell burnt rice, remove your pot immediately! Ask me below how to deal with burnt-God-forbid-rice.



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more from Monda

Ebi jan

by Monda on

your ground limoo ommani (or is it ammani??) suggestion was tried today and even my mom loved it in my loobia polo. Thank you!


Thanks Shazdeh

by Monda on

:o) waiting for your next ghesseh bad..

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Monda jaan: your receipies are simply irresistible and fun.

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

S.A.M (an official Khar Vazir)


not too many flavores or smells for me- sensory overload!

by Monda on

I like mine basic and simple. But sarshar45 you do it the way you enjoy it buddy and have fun experimenting with different flavors.


Saba3 jan

by Monda on

Oh no you can never work efficiently after Persian food for lunch! I committed that mistake when I was young and stupid by having chelo kabab around 1 pm! I'll never forget that awful experience,

1) could not fully enjoy my lunch without piyaaz 2) drinking doogh made me drousy until I hit the bed that night 3) I was thirsty and needed water all afternoon 4) I felt as if I had rubbed kabab on my skin..even if I brushed my teeth and did wash my hands and neck after lunch! IT's the wonderful potent smell of chelo kababi itself that sticks to the clothes.


anonymous fish jan

by Monda on

wingin' it is the long as your honey compliments you, stick to it! If it gets the joy out of making your maast o'khiar, then don't write about it, keep it as your secret :o) My reason for writing these recipes is I started a diet and writing about food helps me with the cravings! And having a food section here is good too.

You know, I have never used polopaz (rice cooker), frankly the idea of leaving a meal to an electrical gadget makes me nervous. I am somehow old school. But some of my Persian cousins use polopaz for all their polos. It did take them some trials & errors (as in any task) but I think at least two of them have mastered cooking loobia polo in rice cooker.

BTW it may not be a bad idea to double-check my measures with someone who uses polopaz.


IRANdokht my trick is...

by Monda on

vasfol aish beesh az nesfol aish..I've put myself on a diet so I write about my favorite dishes, when I crave them badly :o)  yes it is torturous but I have lost 2 kilos (spit in a bucket really)!


bajenagh naghi jan

by Monda on

sorry for your loss but the best cooks I know come from your position. believe me life gets better when you're self-sufficient :o) OR one day you may exchange cooking pleasures with your honey.


I reserve leemoo ammaani for khoresht bademjun..

by Monda on

va gormeh sabzi. I had no idea that it's also used in loobia polo. I take your word for it and will try it. Then are you using leemoo ammaani instead of a spice or mixed with the ones I mentioned?

ebi amirhosseini

Have you ever tried ....

by ebi amirhosseini on

 leemoo ammaani powder for the aroma?!

try it,you won't regret it.

Ebi aka Haaji


hi irandokht....

by sarshar45 on

yes, i know  garlic is not a traditional ingredient in everything, BUT just the right amount never overpowers the other flavor layers, especially when there is meat involved. it isnt about a particular aroma, but about a layer of aromas and tastes :)

i make loobia polo at least once every two weeks because it is the easiest polo to make in my opinion.

come on over and taste anytime :) i would be happy to have you over for lunch!

bajenaghe naghi

monda jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

for a guy who has no one to cook farsi food, this is torture. but i did copy your recipe and will cook it for my self later. i am sure it will be very tasty. 


it's not even 11 Am

by IRANdokht on

and I am dying for a plate of that loubia polo!!

whatcha doin' to me Monda? Mmmmmmmmmm  I love Loubia polo! 


PS; sarshar jan, iranian dishes are known for their distinct aromas and unique tastes. I wouldn't recommend adding garlic powder to everything. It's true that I am not an expert cook, but I am an expert persian food consumer :o) 


Vay vay vay...

by saba3 (not verified) on

Dokhtar joon what are you doing to us? Here I am sitting innocently procrastinating before getting to what I need to be doing, and you come on with a loobiya polo which I have no intention of making, and now I'm going to be hot and bothered for the rest of the day. I'll keep eating other stuff and not getting satisfied. It's not fair. So I'll remind people of how bad and heavy you feel after eating a huge plate of polo in the middle of the day and ruin it for everyone else!

anonymous fish

ok... i'm counting on you...:-)

by anonymous fish on

i've tried two different ways... one was very simple, much like yours and the other way was pretty involved.  i think our biggest problem is that we use a rice cooker now and trying to make rice the old way is hard.  but i'm going to try again because i love it and so does our youngest. 

thank you!!!!!!   (i'll let you know how it turns out).

ps.  i usually "wing it" when doing my maast o'khiar but i'll make some this weekend and see if i can determine what it is i do that azizam likes so much.  i'm a little leery about boasting of it to so many wonderful iranian cooks...:-(


loobia polo is one of my favorites....

by sarshar45 on

and you are right monda it is one of the easiest also.

i do make mine just slightly different. i dont care for advieh or cinnamon  or golab in mine, so i leave those out. i do use some garlic powder on the meat. after the meat and loobia cook for a while, i also like to add a chopped potato and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

a hint... try the italian style of tomato paste. it adds a nice flavor.


of course, if you are in a hurry, you can use ground beef or ground turkey or chicken.


thanks monda :)