Sarmira’s Persian Lubia Polo – Green Bean Pilaf

One of our favorite Persian recipes from a dear sister. Serves 4 adults + a few kids!


  • 4 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tsp saffron, ground
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound French green beans, canned or frozen + 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes, peeled & sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c water, boiling
  • 2 tsp cinnamon for layering


  1. After rinsing the rice, place it in a deep pot & pour water over it, covering it by 2 inches. Add the salt & let the rice sit for 3-4 hours.
  2. Sprinkle the ground saffron over the ice cubes in a glass. Let is melt.
  3. Soak the potato slices in water for 30 minutes.
  4. Fry the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Once softened, add in the turmeric & salt, and fry for an additional minute.
  5. Add the ground beef, cinnamon and black pepper. Fry for 7 minutes.
  6. Add the green beans & fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato taste & fry for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tbsp of the saffron water, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Drain the potatoes & pour the 3 tbsp of melted butter over top.
  10. In another bowl, mix together 3 tbsp butter & 1/2 c boiling water.
  11. Bring the rice to a boil and let it cook for 3 minutes, until the rice is soft on the outside but still a little crunchy on the inside.
  12. Immediately pour the rice into a strainer & rinse with cold water.
  13. Over high heat, place the buttered potato slices on the bottom & sides of the pot.
  14. Layer 1/3 of the rice over the potatoes, 1/2 of the green bean mixture, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 c of the melted butter & water.
  15. Layer another 1/3 of the rice, remaining green bean mixture, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, another 1/4 c butter.
  16. Add the remaining rice, cinnamon, and butter.
  17. Cover the pot and once condensation begins to form on the lid, lower the heat to medium-low, place a thin towel in between the pot & lid, and let it cook for 40 minutes.
  18. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes before flipping over onto a serving tray. Nooshe jon — Enjoy!

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