Lubia Polo Persian Green Bean Rice

4.88 from 33 votes
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Lubia polo is a classic Persian green bean rice recipe that’s flavored with warm and aromatic spices. Follow along to learn how to make this tasty recipe using my step-by-step recipe and tips.

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). While I love all these recipes, loobia polo is my favorite dish to make. It’s so delicious and goes perfectly with a fresh salad and a bowl of yogurt.

What is Lubia Polo?

Lubia polo or loobia polo (لوبیا پلو) is a Persian mixed rice dish made with long grain rice, ground meat (lamb or beef) and green beans. Mixed rice dishes are very popular in Persian cuisine, some examples are adas polo (lentil rice), albaloo polo(sour cherry rice) and zereshk polo (barberry rice).

The recipe 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 thanks to the combination of warm and aromatic spices. It’s important to know that like many other recipes, lubia polo is made differently in each household. What you see here is how my family has made it for generations and now I’m sharing it with you.

loobia polo is made with green beans and rice and beef.

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. 

Ingredients and substitution

To make this recipe you need rice, onion, green beans, saffron, beef, spices and oil.
  • Basmati rice: Like any other Persian rice recipe, you need long grain rice for this recipe as well. I used Royal Chef’s Secret Basmati Rice.
  • Vegetable oil: To cook the rice, tahdig and also the green bean and meat filling.
  • Onion: A large onion sauteed in oil is the base of many Iranian dishes.
  • Ground beef: You can also use ground lamb or a mix of beef and lamb.
  • Spices: Use a combination of turmeric, cayenne pepper, curry powder and cinnamon.
  • Tomato paste: Adds flavor and color to the dish.
  • Green beans: Ideally, you need fresh green beans to make loobia polo. Frozen could work but canned green beans won’t work.
  • Potatoes: To make our signature potato tahdig.
  • Saffron: You need just a little bit of ground saffron to make bloomed saffron.

How to make lubia polo 

cook the green beans and make the ground beef filling. Par cook the rice and start layering. Cook for 45 minutes.
  1. Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onion until golden brown. Then add the ground beef and brown it. Add in the spices and cook for a few minutes until they start releasing their aroma. Finally, add the tomato paste, green beans and water. Bring to a low simmer and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and set the mixture aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt. Wash the basmati rice to get rid of the excess starch. Boil the rice for 6 minutes until it’s 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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Persian green bean rice is easy and simple with so much flavor.

Serving suggestions

Traditionally, we always serve lubia polo with salad shirazi, torshi and some plain yogurt topped with some dried mint. You can also serve it with salads such as fattoush or a bowl of mast-o-khiar (Persian cucumber yogurt dip).

Storage and freezing

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Lubia polo freezes very well, place it in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pan.

Frequently asked questions

How can I make this dish vegetarian?

To make vegetarian lubia polo, leave out the meat and use mushrooms instead. I recommend using a combination of white button mushrooms and baby bella.

Can I make lubia polo in advance?

Yes. You can make this dish up to 24 hours in advance and heat before serving. To save time, make the green bean filling up to 1 day in advance and lightly heat it before layering it with the rice to make sure it has the right consistency. 

What kind of a pot should I use to make Persian green bean and rice?

The best pot for any Persian rice recipe, including rice and tahdig, is a nonstick pot. There’s not need to get something fancy, just a good nonstick.

What can I use instead of potatoes for tahdig?

Simply use rice, or pieces of lavash or pita bread instead of potatoes.

Serve lubia polo with salad shirazi and yogurt.

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4.88 from 33 votes

Lubia Polo Recipe (Persian Green Bean Rice)

Lubia polo is a classic Persian green bean rice recipe that's flavored with warm and aromatic spices. Follow along to learn how to make this tasty recipe using my step-by-step recipe and tips.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1 lb fresh green bean, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 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

Rice:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 potatoes, sliced (1/2 inch thickness)
  • 1/4 cup bloomed saffron

Instructions 

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan or a pot. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until golden brown, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add in the turmeric, cayenne pepper, curry, cinnamon and salt to the ground beef and cook for a 5 minutes.
  • Add in the 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, about 20 minutes. Add in more water if needed, the mixture shouldn't be dry. Taste to make sure the flavors are to your liking. Turn the heat off and put the mixture aside.
  • To make the rice, 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 notes 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 with 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. Poke holes in the rice using the end of a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Pour 1/3 cup water around the edges, wrap the lid in a clean kitchen 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. 

Notes

  • You can make the green bean filling a day in advance and lightly heat it before layering it with the rice to make sure it has the right consistency. 
  • The best pot to use for this recipe is a nonstick pot. 
  • Instead of potatoes, you can use lavash or pita bread to make tahdig. 
  • To make vegetarian lubia polo, leave out the beef and use mushrooms instead. I recommend using a combination of white button mushrooms and baby bella mushrooms. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To freeze this rice dish, place it in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pan. 

Nutrition

Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 1065mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 672IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

This post is sponsored by Royal Rice. All opinions are mine. 

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! We eat a lot of Persian food because my husband is Persian but I wanted to learn how to cook this because the whole family loves it so much and this recipe is excellent! Thanks 😊

  2. Hi! Can I make this with stew beef in the instant pot? How long would I need to cook it for? If not, how do I use your recipe for stew beef instead of ground beef? Thanks!

    1. Chop the meat into small pieces and add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup more water to the mix to cook. You can also cook the meat in advance with some onion and about 1 1/2 cup water in the instant pot for 30 minutes on high.

  3. Hello! Can I use brown rice short grain or brown basmati rice? If so, how long should I cook the brown rice? Should I soak it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mar, you can use brown basmati rice and cook it about 5 more minutes before drain and rinse.

  4. I made this tonight. The flavor was amazing and the rice was cooked perfectly, but everything on the bottom of the pot burned. I used an All-Clad pot. I followed the recipe exactly. What did I do wrong?

    1. The heat could have been too high, was this a steel pot? Non stick pots usually work best for Persian rice dishes.

  5. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! I am always on the hunt for new international flavors for my family to try. We used beef and loved it!