Lubia polo is a delicious Persian green bean rice dish made with fresh ingredients. Learn how to make lubia polo at home and enjoy a Persian feast.
We have covered the most popular Persian recipes here on the blog. You’ve raved about kabab tabei (Persian pan kabob), Persian one pot tomato rice and of course, ghormeh sabzi (Persian herb stew). Loobia polo is my favorite dish to make. It’s so delicious and goes perfectly with other Persian side dishes.
This post is sponsored by Royal Rice. All opinions are mine.
Norooz is here and I wish everyone a happy Norooz! This is the time of the year where everything is fresh and new. Hope everyone is having a great new beginning! I’d love to celebrate with one of my favorite dishes: Lubia Polo!
What is Lubia Polo?
Lubia polo or loobia polo is a Persian mixed rice dish made with long grain rice, ground meat (lamb or beef) and green beans. It’s one of Persian mixed rice dishes which are very common in Persian cuisine. Lubia polo is simple and easy to make. It calls for a few ingredients that you can easily find and the flavor is out of this world. What I love the most about lubia polo is that each bite is packed with flavor and it’s not plain at all.
To me, lubia polo is the definition of comfort dish. It’s layered with a green bean and ground meat combination seasoned with warm spices that compliment every element of the dish.
What goes into lubia polo?
There are two parts in this Persian rice dish: the rice and the filling. To make the rice, I used Royal Chef’s Secret Basmati Rice that I got a few days ago. It was a 10lb bag and this delicious mixed rice dish was one of the first things I made with it. I love it because of it’s extra long grains and high quality. It’s fragrant and has a delicate taste and fluffy texture which keeps it’s shape very well when cooked with the green bean filling.
To make the filling for loobia polo we need fresh green beans, oil, onion, ground beef or lamb (or a combination of both), tomato paste, bloomed saffron and a combination of spices including turmeric, cayenne pepper, curry powder and cinnamon. When you combine the ingredients with this mixture of spices, they make an aromatic dish that will be the star of any table.
How to make lubia polo
Start by making the green bean mixture. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onion until golden brown. Add in the ground beef and cook until it’s no longer pink. Stir in all the spices and cook for another few minutes. Add the tomato paste and green beans. Stir well and add in the water. Bring to a low simmer and let it cook for a few minutes until the green beans are cooked. Set aside the green bean and ground beef mixture.
To make the rice, bring a pot of water with some salt to a rolling boil. Wash the Basmati rice a few times to discard excess starch. Once the water is boiling, add the rice and boil for about 6 minutes until the rice is par cooked. You’ll know the rice is ready when you’re able to break a rice grain into two pieces using your thumb and index finger, but the rice is still hard in the middle. It’s like al dente rice where the outer layer is soft but the grain is still hard in the middle. Turn the heat off and place a colander in the sink. Lift the pot and pour the rice into the colander and rinse it using cold water to make it stop cooking.
Place the pot back on the burner and turn the heat on to medium high. Once the bottom of the pot is dry, pour some oil into the pot and arrange the potato slices so they cover the bottom of the pot. Scoop one third of the rice into the pot over the potatoes. Layer with some bloomed saffron and one third of the green bean mixture. Repeat until you’re out of rice and filling, making sure that there’s more rice in the middle than around the edge, shaping like a mountain.
Pour 1/3 cup water around the edges, wrap the lid in a clean kitchen cloth and place it on the pot. Make sure the heat is on medium high (but not too high) and cook the rice for about 15 minutes. Lift the lid to see the steam escape and then pour some vegetable oil on the rice. Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and the flavors are fully combined. Once ready, fluff the rice a bit to combine the filling and rice mix.
What to serve with loobia polow, Persian green beans with rice
Traditionally, we always serve lubia polo with salad shirazi and some plain yogurt topped with some dried mint. You can also serve it with salads such as fattoush salad or a bowl of mast-o-khiar (Persian cucumber yogurt dip). The fresh flavor of salad shirazi compliments this green bean rice dish perfectly.
Notes and tips for making this lubia polo recipe
- You can make the green bean filling in advance and lightly heat it before layering it with the rice to make sure it has the right consistency.
- While making the green bean and ground beef filling, make sure there is enough water to help the beans cook in the meat sauce. Add a little more water (1/4 cup at a time) if you feel the water isn’t enough.
- Make sure the pot you’re using is big enough to fit in the rice and the filling.
- You can use pieces of lavash bread for the tahdig instead of potato slices.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to four days.
Lubia Polo Persian Green Bean Rice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 8 ounces ground beef 93% lean
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 lb fresh green bean cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups Royal Chef’s Secret Basmati Rice
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 potatoes sliced (1/2 inch thickness)
- 1/4 cup bloomed saffron
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Saute onion until golden brown, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add in turmeric, cayenne pepper, curry, cinnamon and salt to the ground beef and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add in tomato paste and water. Mix well until everything is combined. Stir in the green beans and bring it to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the green beans are fully cooked. Add in more water if needed. Taste to make sure the flavors are there. Set the green beans and beef mixture aside.
- Bring a pot of water with the salt to a rolling boil. Wash the Basmati rice two to three times to discard excess starch.
- When the water starts boiling, add the rice and boil for about 6 minutes until the rice is par cooked or al dente. The rice is ready when you're able to break a rice grain into two pieces using your thumb and index finger, but the rice still has to be hard in the middle. The outer layer is soft but the grain is still hard in the middle. (See more noted about this on How to make Persian rice and tahdig. )
- Turn the heat off and place a colander in the sink. Lift the pot and pour the rice into the colander and rinse it using cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Place the pot back on the burner and turn the heat to medium high. Once the bottom of the pot is dry, pour 3 tbsp vegetable oil into the pot and arrange the potato slices so they cover the bottom of the pot.
- Scoop one third of the rice into the pot over the potatoes. Layer with some bloomed saffron and one third of the green bean mixture. Repeat until you're out of rice and filling, make sure the rice is shaped like a mountain, meaning you have more rice in the middle than around the edges.
- Pour 1/3 cup water around the edges, wrap the lid in a clean kitchen cloth/towel and place it on the pot (This is for the towel to absorb the steam, resulting in a fluffy rice).
- Turn the heat to medium high (but not too high) and cook the rice for about 15 minutes. Lift the lid to see the steam escape and then pour 3 tbsp vegetable oil on the rice.
- Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and the flavors are fully combined. Fluff the rice a bit to have the filling and rice mix completely.
- Serve with Salad Shirazi and plain yogurt sprinkled with dried mint.