Adas Polo – Persian Lentil Rice is perfect for a weeknight meal. Rice and lentils served with delicious beef and raisins make the perfect healthy meal!
I have some announcements. I know you will get excited too.
After almost two years of blogging and publishing one cookbook , I feel it’s time to go back to my roots and publish more Persian recipes on Unicorns in the Kitchen. After all, this was the intention when I started my blog: to introduce everyone to Persian cuisine and show you all how easy and simple it can be to make Persian food. It makes me so happy to hear what people say about the cookbook, how they love Persian cuisine, and how easy the cookbook has made it for them.
But Persian cooking goes way beyond that cookbook. What I have published is what I have grown up eating and making – very casual, homey food. But I want to show you how to combine Persian flavors, and make dishes the way you like them to be.
Many believe Persian cuisine is very exotic and always requires obscure ingredients. I’m here to tell you that this is not the case. You can make many delicious Persian dishes using ingredients that you have in your pantry right now. Adas Polo – Persian lentil rice is one of those recipes that doesn’t require any special ingredient.
Saffron, you ask? It will be great if you have some to mix with some of the rice. But if you don’t have it, your Adas Polo is still going to be amazingly delicious!
Adas polo is one Persian recipe that is in the mixed rice dishes family. This is the second mixed rice dish I’m posting on the blog – the first one is Persian One Pot Tomato Rice – Dami Gojeh Farangi. Some mixed rice dishes can be made in one pot while others require the extra step of par cooking the rice and then steaming it with the filling (More about this in my cookbook).
More awesome Persian recipes for you:
- Kabab Tabei – Persian Pan Kebab
- Persian Sausage and Potato Skillet – Sosis Bandari
- Zereshk Polo Morgh – Persian Barberry Rice with Chicken
- Persian Meat Patties- Kotlet
- Sabzi Polo (Persian Herb Rice)
How to make Adas Polo
Adas polo requires the rice and lentil to be par cooked and then layered and steamed with the beef filling. The beef filling is already cooked in a separate pan. In the end, you place a bowl of raisins and dates (I didn’t have dates at the moment I made this) on the rice just to get them warm and moist and then you serve them all together, along with golden and crispy potato tahdig and yogurt and herbs on a platter.
Persian rice with lentil and chicken
You can make adas polo with chicken, too. To do so, cook some chicken breast and shred it. Saute onion in a pan over medium heat and add shredded chicken, turmeric, salt and pepper to the pan. Mix well and cook for some minutes. Serve with the lentil rice and raisins.
Persian cooking is all about sticking to the basics and then going with your instincts. If you want a vegetarian version, completely skip the ground beef filling and just steam the rice and lentils. If you don’t like dates, skip them too. In the end, it’s you who should enjoy this delicious Adas Polo, and I’m sure you will love this recipe, as it has been in my family for generations <3
Tools and ingredients used to make Adas Polo – Persian Lentil Rice:
- Nonstick Pan: I love this one and I use it everyday. I prefer non stick so I can use less fat for cooking.
- Nonstick Pot: Another favorite of mine is this one. You need a good non stick pot to be able to make good tahdig.
- Spatula: Get a good spatula once and use it everyday! I like this one best.
- Dates: I love Medjool dates. These ones are so good and tasty.
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Adas Polo – Persian Lentil Rice
Adas Polo - Persian Lentil Rice is perfect for a weeknight meal. Rice and lentils served with delicious beef and raisins make the perfect healthy meal!
For the filling
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 8 ounce ground beef
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 2 tablespoons bloomed saffron divided
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup Medjool dates pitted
For the rice
- 6 1/3 cups water divided
- 2 cups basmati rice washed and drainedrice
- 6 cups of water plus 1/3 cup
- 1 ½ teaspoon 1½ teaspoons salt
- 7 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 2 potatoes sliced
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup Medjool dates pitted
- 2 tablespoons bloomed saffron
To make the filling
1.Cook the lentils in a pot of boiling water over medium heat for 20 minutes, until they are half cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2.In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil. Sauté the onion until it’s golden. Add the ground beef and cook until it’s light brown. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and bloomed saffron. Stir until ground beef is cooked completely. Set aside.
3.Wash the raisins and spread them on a kitchen towel. Dry them, then place them in a small heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
To make the rice
1.Pour 6 cups of water in a large nonstick pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and salt, and boil about 10 minutes. Check one grain with your fingers by pressing it between your thumb and index finger; you should be able to break the grain but it should still be firm. Add the drained lentils to the pot and boil for 30 seconds.
2.Place a colander in clean sink and drain the rice and lentils. Place the pot back on medium heat. Make sure the bottom of the pot is dry. Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pot and place the potato slices in the bottom of the pot so they cover the bottom entirely.
3.Scoop 1/3 of the rice into the pot and layer 1/3 of the beef mixture on top of the rice. Repeat with the remaining rice and filling. Carefully pour 1/3 cup of water around the edges of the pot. Wrap the lid in a clean towel and put it on the pot. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes, until the steam starts to escape from the bottom of the pot. Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on the rice. Place the bowl of raisins and the dates on top of the rice. Cover and steam for 10 minutes more.
4.In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the lentil rice with 2 tablespoons of bloomed saffron. Serve the lentil rice in a large platter, topped with dates, raisins, and the saffron lentil rice.
5.Serve with herb platter or plain Greek yogurt on the side.