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Adas Polo

Turmeric rice with lentils
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: beef, lentils, rice, saffron, turmeric
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef

Ingredients

Beef

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter or ghee
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pound beef, or lamb, cut into 1.5 to 2 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust as needed

Lentils

  • 1 1/4 cups lentils, grey/green variety
  • 4-5 cups water

Rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 2 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed out
  • 3 tablespoons butter, or ghee or olive oil, divided

Topping

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 6-8 pieces dates
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron, ground and dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water

Instructions

Beef

  • In a medium sized pot, saute the onion over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the beef pieces and toss around the pan over medium-high heat until they have turned light brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, turmeric, pepper and saute for a couple of more minutes until the meat is coated with the spices and become more aromatic.
  • Add 1 cup of water, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 minutes.
  • Add the salt and continue to cook for 15-30 minutes longer or until the beef is fork tender.
  • Keep warm until serving.

Lentils

  • In a medium saucepan, place the lentils and 4 cups of water and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are mostly but not entirely cooked. Drain and set aside.

Topping

  • In a medium sized frying pan, saute the onion with ghee or butter for 15 minutes over medium heat until golden in color.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients and reduce flame to low and saute for up 2-4 minutes until the dried fruit has softened and come to life.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

Rice

  • Wash rice thoroughly and set aside to soak for one to three hours. Rinse before use.
  • In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups water, turmeric and salt to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-8 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened. Drain the rice in a colander, rinse and set aside.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat in the same heavy bottom pot.
  • Spread enough of the rice, around 1 cup to evenly cover the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice referred to as Tahdig.
  • Combine the partially cooked strained lentils with the remainder of the rice and gently mix.
  • Place this mixture over the rice already in the pan.
  • Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into pieces and place on top of the rice lentil mixture.
  • Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place on top of the pot. Allow the rice to steam over a medium-low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  • Once the rice is cooked, cautiously and swiftly invert the rice out of the pot onto a large serving platter.
  • Arrange the beef stew around the platter and garnish with the saffron raisins and dates.
  • Serve with plain yogurt or pickled vegetables.