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5 from 14 votes

Beef and Green Bean Rice (Loobia Polo)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: Persian
Servings: 10
Calories: 529kcal
Author: Honest and Tasty


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 2 large onions 1 should be pureed using a food processor or box grater, and 1 should be chopped
  • 8 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 lbs fresh or frozen green beans Sometimes the fresh ones have the stringy fibrous bit that should be removed. Also, if you’re using fresh green beans, wash and cut them into thirds.
  • 4 tbsp ghee plus enough to cover the bottom of a large pot for the tahdig (crispy rice), plus enough to cover the bottom of a pan for onions
  • 1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups of uncooked basmati rice
  • ½ tsp ground saffron mixed into ⅓ cup hot water
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste



    Add ground beef to a large pot and thoroughly mix in the pureed onion. Mix in salt, pepper, and turmeric. Don’t be shy with the seasoning. Put the pot on medium heat. Using a spatula, break up the beef into small pieces. The beef will release some of its own liquid as it’s cooking. When this liquid has evaporated, cook for 2 more minutes, mixing around to give the beef a bit of a sauté. Add tomato paste to beef mixture and mix for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat.

      Place green beans on stovetop in another pan on medium-low with lid on. After 10 min, add 2 tbsp ghee and mix them around for a couple minutes until the color deepens just a bit to give a light sauté. Remove from heat. Add the green beans to the pot containing the beef.

        Add enough ghee to cover the bottom of the pan used to cook the green beans. Turn heat to high and add the chopped onion. Mix around to fry the onion until it browns (about 5-10 min). Turn off the heat and tilt the pan to drain away the excess ghee to one side of the pan. This oil can then be discarded.

          Mix together beef mixture, fried onion, green beans, and cinnamon in the large pot on medium heat. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

            FOR THE RICE:

              Rinse uncooked rice about 5 times to get rid of excess starch and impurities. Boil a large non-stick pot of water and add salt just as you would when cooking pasta. Put stove on medium-high heat. Add rice and don’t let it over-boil. When the rice is hard in the middle and soft on the outside (al dente rice!), turn off the burner and rinse the rice using cold water and a colander so that the rice stops cooking.

                Add enough ghee to that rice pot to cover the bottom for making crispy rice (tahdig) and layer the rice, saffron-water mixture, and meat-green bean mixture into the pot to combine everything. You can mix the contents very gently.

                  Poke about 6 holes all the way down the rice to the bottom of the pot using the handle of a spatula or the back of a butter knife. Place the lid on top of the pot and put burner on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. This step will help to start forming the crispy rice (tahdig) at the bottom of the pot.

                    When steam rises to the lid (this is easy to tell with a clear lid, otherwise wait about 5 minutes) remove the lid and add 2 tbsp ghee all over the top of the rice. Place a dish towel underneath the lid to catch the steam and keep it from dripping back onto the rice. Leave covered like this for about 25-30 minutes on low heat to finish cooking the rice properly and form the tahdig (crispy rice).

                      Turn off heat and serve. Using the wooden spatula, you can get to the bottom of the pot to break the crispy rice (tahdig) into large pieces and serve alongside the dish for a crunchy treat. If you like, this meal may be accompanied by salad, pickled vegetables (torshi), yogurt, and/or herbs (sabzi khordan) such as radish, green onion, cilantro, basil, etc. Enjoy!


                        Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 566mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg