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Ghapeli Polo

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Rice with beef and garbanzo beans
4.83 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Soaking time 8 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course, Rice
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 4


Beef and garbanzo beans

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound beef, chuck or round, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot water

Fried onion

  • 1/2 cup oil, adjust as necessary for frying
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced


  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt, for parboiling the rice and will be rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons oil


Beef and garbanzo beans

  • Place all the ingredients with the exception of salt, pepper and saffron in a large pot and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat and cook for 60 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper and saffron water and continue to cook for up to 30 minutes more or until the beef and garbanzo beans are fully cooked.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and star anise. Set aside.

Fried onion

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan until the oil begins to shimmer.
  • Add the onion and fry over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden in color.
  • Strain and place on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Set aside.


  • In a large covered pot, bring 8 cups of water and the salt to a boil.
  • Add the rinsed rice and boil on high heat uncovered for about 5-7 minutes, or until the rice has slightly softened.
  • Drain the rice in a colander, quickly rinse and set aside while you prepare the pan.
  • Place the oil in a large pot (non-stick preferred) and add enough of the parboiled rice to cover the bottom of the pot. This will be the crispy rice called Tahdig!
  • Using a slotted spoon place 1/3 of the cooked beef and garbanzo beans over the rice.
  • Begin by layering 1/3 of the partially cooked rice and a 1/3 of the beef and beans mixture into the pot.
  • Repeat until all of the rice, beef and beans have been layered in the pot.
  • Place the fried onions on top of the rice mixture and gently mix.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of the beef/beans broth over the top of the rice mixture. Set aside the rest of the broth.
  • 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.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Select a large tray or platter to place on top of the pan and carefully and swiftly invert the rice onto the platter.
  • Serve the rice with a cup of the beef/beans broth, and a side of yogurt or Persian pickled eggplants.


The animal protein can easily be eliminated to create a perfect vegetarian meal. 
For the photo, I used a tortilla on the bottom of the pot to create a bread Tahdig. 


Serving: 2cups
Keyword beef, garbanzo beans, rice
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