Lubia Polo (Green Beans & Rice)

Lubia means “green beans” and Polo means “rice.” This Persian rice dish is traditionally made with meat. The meat can easily be excluded for a plant-based rice dish. The recipe below includes the option to include a plant-based meat alternative. We have used the Beef-less Ground Beef from Trader Joe’s, but you could use other alternatives like Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger.

Let us know if you make this recipe and which meat alternative you use, if any.


  • 3 cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil (divided)
  • 3 cups frozen cut green beans
    • If using fresh green beans, be sure to chop into smaller 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground saffron
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp and 2 tsp. salt (divided)
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato purée
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 package plant-based meat alternative (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. Brewed Saffron


Make Green Bean Mixture:

  1. Add 2 Tbsp. oil to a medium non-stick sauté pan on medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 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 purée and the water and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the plant-based meat alternative, if using.
  7. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed and mixture is thickened. Set Aside.

Make Basmati Rice:

  1. Wash the rice. To wash the rice, place the rice in a large bowl and cover with water. Move the rice with your hand to loosen particles. Pour off the water. Repeat the process 3-4 times until the rice is clean.
  2. Fill a large stock pot with water (3/4 full), add 1 Tbsp. salt, cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Add rice to boiling water, and cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the rice.

Combine Basmati Rice and the Green Bean mixture:

  1. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and 2 Tbsp. Brewed Saffron to the bottom of a Persian rice cooker or a non-stick pot (with a lid).
  2. 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 or pot.
  3. Add a layer of Basmati rice to the bottom of a large rice cooker or large pot (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 (make sure to end with Basmati rice as the top layer).
  4. Cover and cook for 1 hour in the rice cooker. (If cooking in a non-stick pot, cook for 1 hour on medium/low heat).
  5. Before serving, mix the Basmati rice and the Green Bean Mixture in the pot until well blended.
  6. Noosh-e-Jan! Enjoy!

SERVES 4-5 people