Lubia Polo (Persian Green Beans and Rice)

February 26, 2021
The best part of working for a multi-national company is that even though Hungary is a very small country and many people don't even know we exist or where we are located, but there are hundreds of colleagues from all around the world and I can learn so many of their dishes. They always are happy to introduce their nations' most delicious foods. Even if I tell them I have celiac disease and am vegetarian it is not impossible to make most of their dishes gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

I'd love to share one of the dish with you that I recently learned from one of my friends, the Persian Lubia Polo. Lubia means “green beans” and Polo means “rice.” This dish is traditionally made with meat but it can be easy excluded or replaced by a vegan protein or left out completely. (I prefer to stick with soy granuls as for texture they are similar to ground meat or not adding anything else but the veggies.)
lubia polo on a plate with a spoon

Lubia Polo (Persian Green Beans and Rice)

utensils YIELDS 4
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  • 3 cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground saffron
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp (devided) salt
  • 200g tomato puré
  • 2 dl water
  • 1 package plant-based meat alternative (optional)
  • 1 large russet potato (optional)
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1. Add 2 tbs oil to a medium pan and start to heat it over medium heat.

2. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.

4. Add the green beans, 2 tsp. salt and spices and sauté for 10 minutes.

5. Add the tomato puré, water and the plant-based meat alternative, if using.

6. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed and mixture is thickened.

7. Prepare the rice as per package instructions meanwhile in another pan.

8. Once both done, you’ll need to combine the rice and the green bean mixture:

9. You can use a rice cooker, a non-stick pot or a cake tin in the oven. I prefer cake tin because it makes the rice crispy.

10. If making potato tadig, wash and peel one medium Russet potato and slice into 4 or 5 slices. Place at the bottom of the rice cooker, pot or cake tin.

11. Add a layer of Basmati rice (cover the potatoes completely). Then add a layer of the Green Bean Mixture. Repeat the layering until all the Basmati rice and the Green Bean Mixture are used up (make sure to end with Basmati rice as the top layer).

12. Cover and cook for 1 hour in the rice cooker or non stick pan, about 30 mins in an oven over 180 Celsius.

13. Before serving, mix the Basmati rice and the Green Bean Mixture in the pot until well blended.

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Photo: Imola Toth

Imola is a Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher, tree planter and writer and editor of Raised by the Wolf, an online magazine for Wild Women, with a passion for exploring and life outdoors. Originally from Hungary but currently planting trees and rewilding the enchanting forests of France. Hop over to RBTW magazine, and blog and follow her on Instagram @yogiraisedbythewolf


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