Adas Polo-Persian Rice and Lentils

Adas Polo is a popular traditional Persian meal cooked with either ground beef or chicken. Its ingredients are found in every home, with no rare or unique exceptions.

This recipe is authentic, common, and simple. You won’t need to dirty numerous dishes or even a colander. All you need is a pan and a pot.

When you serve Adas Polo (Persian rice with lentils), the pleasant aroma of meat, onions, saffron, and rice fills the house and appetizes everyone. If you add enough spice, serving the meal with fresh greens and shallot yogurt will make your mouth water!

Lubia Polo is a popular Iranian pilaf too, But if green beans are not available to you, lentil rice is one of the best options.

Persian Lentil Rice with vegetables and torshi

What are the Different Methods of Making Lentil Rice?

You can make Adas Polow in different ways:

  • Lentil Rice and ground beef (Explained in this recipe)
  • Adas Polo with Meatballs
  • Adas Polo with chicken

The Easiest and Quickest Lentil Rice

As mentioned before, this meal can be prepared in several ways. In this post, I will teach you how to make Lentil Pilaf and ground beef. We make boiled rice in this recipe.

You can turn the ground beef into small meatballs (the size of a knuckle or smaller), just like how we mentioned in the Ghanbar Polo and Barberry Rice With Meatballs posts.

The second method is to sauté the ground meat with onions and place it between layers of rice. This method is quicker.

Adas Polo Recipe

The main steps of making Adas polo are explained here. The summarized recipe is at the end of this post.

Preparation:

– Soak the rice for at least one hour.

Soak the rice– Soak the raisins 30 minutes prior. Drain using a colander and let them dry.

Soak the raisins

Step 1 – Cook the Lentils

Wash the lentils and pour them into a pot with 4 cups of water. Let them boil on the stove for 15-20 minutes until they’re soft. Be careful not to overcook them, it will result in mashing. The lentils will cook further with the rice in the next steps.

Cook the Lentils

Step 2 – Prepare the meat

While the lentils are boiling, prepare the meat. Dice 2 onions and fry in a pan. Add turmeric and spice.

Fry onions in a panTake half of the onions and set them aside (for decorating the final meal).

Add grated or diced garlic to the remaining onions. Sauté for a few seconds until you sense the scent of garlic.

Add garlic to the remaining onionsAdd the ground beef to the mixture. Mix with the back of a spatula or a spoon to avoid clumping. Add salt and cinnamon.

Add 1/3 cup of water, put the pan’s lid on, and let the contents cook slowly. After 5 minutes, when the water is fully evaporated, turn the heat off.

You don’t need to cook the meat any further. Do not worry about it being raw, it will be steamed alongside the rice in the next step.

Step 3 – Add rice to the lentils

When the lentils are cooked, add rice to the pot. Add some salt. The water should be enough to be one knuckle above the rice. If it’s more, take some of it out using a ladle, or set the heat a little above medium to fasten the evaporation process of the extra water.In other words, avoid your Adas Polo becoming mushy.

Add rice to the lentilsThe rice usually becomes al dente in 5-7 minutes, but the exact time depends on its type. Al dente is a state where the rice is cooked from the outside, but when you crush it between two fingers, the inside is still raw and hard.

When the rice is al dente and the water evaporates, reduce the heat.

Rice becomes Al dente and the water is evaporated

Step 4 – Steaming Adas Polo with meat

When the rice becomes Al dente, add the prepared meat on top of the rice.

Add the meat on top of the rice You can add some dill to your polo (about 3 tbsp of dry dill). Drizzle some butter, oil, or ghee on the rice.

Then reduce the heat. Let the rice simmer for 40-60 minutes. If the pot lid has any gaps that can lead to heat leakage, use a cloth cover to fasten the process of steaming.

Step 5 – Sauté the raisins

In the same pan, you used for sautéing the meat, add some oil and sauté the raisins.

Saute the raisins

Step 6 – Serve your Adas Polo with raisins, saffron and onion

After your Rice and Lentils is cooked, set aside two turners of it on a plate. Add dissolved saffron to that rice. Mix well until it completely gets the color of saffron.

To serve your meal, move the rice to a plate and decorate it with raisins and saffron rice, and fried onions. Enjoy!

Persian lentils rice with fresh vegtables

What different methods are there for cooking rice?

You can cook rice in 2 different ways:

  1. Fluffy rice (Abkesh): In this method, the rice is boiled with water. After becoming Al dente, its drained with a colander. It is then steamed in the pot. You can have each tahdig you like. potato or bread tahdig at the bottom of the pot to get a delicious Tahdig!
  2. Steamed rice (Kateh): The rice boils to Al dente with less water. There is no need for drainage. When the water is fully evaporated, reduce the heat and wait for the rice to fully cook. In this method, nutrients are better preserved since the rice water isn’t drained. Tahdig in this method is a layer of rice at the bottom. (Tahdig = rice crust)

What if I don’t want to make steamed rice?

If you don’t want steamed rice (Kateh), follow these steps:

  1. Cook the lentils with 2 cups of water and wait until the water vaporizes. (separately)
  2. Make fluffy rice as mentioned above. (with a colander)
  3. Add the cooked lentils and meat to the rice in layers.

In this method, you can have any type of Tahdig next to your rice and lentil meal.

Persian Lentils Pilaf

Vegetarian (Vegan) Adas Polo Recipe

To make vegan lentils and rice, just remove the meat from the recipe. Rice with lentils, onions, raisins, and saffron tastes so wonderful that you forget that there is no meat in this dish.

You can also add tomato puree to your vegetarian lentil rice. Fry the tomato with the onion until the excess water evaporates. Finally, pour over the rice and lentils to let them steam.

Also, you can fry 3 spoons of chopped walnuts with raisins and drizzle them on the polo. You must know that walnuts are a good source of protein and have high calories that provide the daily energy needed by the body.

Lentil rice is served with what side dishes?

This dish will be much more delicious with fresh vegetables, doogh, shallot yogurt, dates, and pickles such as pickled cabbage or eggplant.

Adas Polo Persian Rice And Lentils

Adas polo with dates

You can serve dates with lentil rice, it has a very good taste. Iranians eat dates along with lentils and rice to balance the nature of this food.

Just pit the dates and fry them in oil for about 1 minute. You don’t need a lot of oil. Dates taste great after frying in oil.

Adas Polo Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 5 people

Ingredients

  • 3 cup Rice
  • 1 cup Lentils
  • 300 grams Ground beef
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Cooking Oil
  • Black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon
  • Salt

Topping

  • 4 tbsp Raisins (60 grams)
  • Dissolved Saffron
  • Butter or Ghee optional

Instructions

  • Soak rice and raisins.
  • Cook the lentils.
  • Pour the lentils into a pot with 4 cups of water.
  • Fry the onions. Add spice and turmeric. Set half of the onions aside. 
  • Add garlic to the onions in the pan.
  • Add ground beef to onions and garlic. Gently beat with a spatula to avoid clumping. 
  • Add salt and cinnamon. Add ⅓ cup of water. Turn the heat off once the water is evaporated.
  • When the lentils are soft, add the rice.
  • Add salt. The water needs to be a knuckle above the surface of rice. The rice become Al dente in 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the meat to the rice. Decrease the heat. Put the lid on the pot. The rice should simmer for 40-60 minutes. 
  • Sauté the raisins.
  • After the rice is cooked, mix two rice paddles of Adas polo with saffron.
  • Serve Adas Polo with raisins, saffron rice and the onions you set aside in step 2.

Notes

  • You can omit the garlic, but it helps get rid of the meat’s unpleasant odor. 
  • You can use pistachio or almond slices for decoration. 
  • In Iran, some people serve this meal with dates. To do that, you should put 7-8 dates, sauté them for a minute, and they’re ready to serve with your rice! Adas polo with dates is a normal form of serving this meal.
  • Adding some dill to the rice take a fantastic aroma to your meal. Persian rice with lentils and dill is great.
  • Both brown and green lentils can be used in this recipe.
  • Dissolve some saffron in 3 spoons of boiling water or put it next to it an ice cube until the ice melts. Then drizzle it on the rice.

Conclusion: 

In this post, I introduced a delicious traditional Persian cuisine that’s call Adas Polo. This popular meal is served with saffron rice, onion, and raisins. You can serve adas polo next to dates.

Persian Lentil Rice is one of the best dishes on the “15 famous Iranian dishes with ground beef” post.

The fastest way to make Adas Polo is the recipe I’ve posted here. (Kateh) You can make meatballs or even use chicken.

If you have yet to try steamed rice, make sure to learn it. It significantly decreases the number of dirty dishes you’ll have to wash later. The only trick is pouring enough water, not too much to make it soggy.

If it’s your first time making Persian rice with lentils and ground beef or if you have any questions, ask me here!

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