Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}

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Lubia Polo

A group of friends was coming over for dinner, and I volunteered to make a “mystery main dish” (so named because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to make!)

I stumbled upon a pound of ground beef in the freezer from my dad/brother’s farm. I don’t often cook meat for myself, so I decided to make it to share. I also had a decent amount of frozen green beans from last summer, and I had just bought a bag of brown Jasmine rice from the middle eastern grocer down the street.
So, as I am wont to do, I just googled my ingredients: “ground beef green beans rice recipe”.
And I think I stumbled upon a future staple for a filling weeknight dinner. Not to mention that it’s a bit exotic.
Here’s to my first attempt at Persian cuisine.
Please meet:

Lubia Polo

Not the most visual appeal, but the flavor is exemplary. The group I was cooking for has quite varied palates, so I was pleased with the unanimous positive feedback.
The following is the recipe as I made it:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cups uncooked brown jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons oil


      1. In a large pot over high heat, brown the ground beef and onion. Season with pepper flakes and curry powder. Stir in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, and stir in green beans. Cook for 5 minutes for frozen beens or 15 minutes for fresh beans, until they are tender.
      2. Stir in rice, and cover pot. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until much of the liquid is absorbed.
      3. Remove entire contents to another container, and return pot to the stove.
      4. Heat oil in the bottom of pot over medium heat.
      5. Dump rice mixture back into pot.
      6. Wrap a clean dish towel around the inside of the pot’s lid (the ends of the dish towel will be folded over the edges on top of the lid,) and put the lid on the pot.
      7. Cook for 1 hour on low, without uncovering or stirring.
      8. Remove lid and place a large plate on top of the pot, then carefully flip it over.
      9. The rice should hold the shape of pot with a nice crust on top called ‘tah digh.’


Suggested modifications for future attempt:

  • Double the amount of green beans.
  • Either use a non-stick pot, or skip the step of removing the rice mixture and returning to the pot with oil on the bottom. Mine semi-held its shape, but in an attempt to improve the nutritional profile of the recipe, I think skipping the extra oil would be just as good, not to mention save 2 extra dishes if you just serve it right out of the pot!