Loobia Polow - Rice with Green Beans
2 cups long grain basmati rice
1 1/2 pounds lamb or beef, cut into small pieces
1 lb fresh string beans, washed, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of a lime/lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl wash the rice thoroughly, rinse with cold water and drain. Soak the rice in 8 cups of water, add 4 tablespoons of salt and set aside for a couple of hours.
- In a pan, saute chopped onions in 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until transparent. Add turmeric powder, mix well.
- Add the meat and cook until browned. Add tomatoes and the green beans to the pan and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, juice of a lime/lemon, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 15-20 minutes on low heat.
- In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Drain the rice and pour into boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, cook for about 7 minutes on medium-high heat or until the grains are long, soft on the outside and firm in the center. Test to see if the rice is ready. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse well with cool water.
- Add 4 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of a non-stick pot. Add a layer of rice and the mixture of meat and bean sauce, building it up to a pyramid shape away from the sides of the pot. Make 4-5 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula. Cook for about 7- 10 minutes on the medium-high heat until rice is steaming. You may cover the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent the moisture from building up in the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 50 minutes to an hour. Don’t overcook this rice. You don’t want it to become too mushy.
Place rice on a serving platter, gently remove the crusty bottom (tahdig) and serve in a separate plate. Serve with salad, mast o khiar or some torshi (pickles).