Wednesday 14 July 2010

Loobya Polow - Rice With Black Eyed Beans, Persian style

We had another great weekend with friends and family, amazing weather sitting in the garden by candlelight until very late talking; eating lots of delicious food like Persian lentil stew; Greek salad and this yummy rice with black-eyed beans and spicy chicken.
If you'd like to make it for four to six people you will need:
1lb long grain rice we always use a really good Basmati
4 tablespoons of salt
4 fl oz of oil
3 teaspoons of water infused with a few strands of saffron this traditionally also has sugar in it.
2 oz of clarified unsalted butter
8oz of black-eyed beans that have been simmered in slightly salted water until almost tender and drained . This should take about 20 -30 minutes.

. Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water with all the salt added.
. Allow the water to come to the boil and then cook for a couple of minutes until the rice is el dente.
. Drain well in a colander and rinse under the tap to ensure all the grains are separate.
. Place the oil in the empty pan plus a couple of spoonfuls of water and allow to heat up until it begins to sizzle.
. Put layers of the rice and the cooked drained beans into the pan finishing with a layer of rice. Form the rice into a dome and make a few big holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon.
. Wrap up the lid of the pan in a clean tea-towel and place onto the pan firmly.
. Cook for a couple of minutes on a really high heat until you can hear the rice begin to sizzle then turn down the heat and cook for about thirty minutes. By which time the grains should be tender but still separate.
. Remove from the heat and place the pan in the sink in a little cold water. Remove the lid and gently mix the beans and rice being careful not to break either.
. Serve on a large serving dish taking a little amount of it and mixing with the liquid saffron and then placing on top to garnish.
. Pour the remaining butter over the rice.
.Take the crunchy rice from the bottom of the pan. This is the 'tahdeeg' or 'pan bottom' the tasty treat.

'A' made this to serve with chili and garlic chicken off the barbecue. He knows how much I miss Caribbean jerk chicken with rice and peas that some of our friends in Manchester would make for us when they invited us for Sunday lunch. It's a similar recipe to this but made using coconut milk. We had some at the carnival last weekend but made with with tiny red kidney beans. I have to say that although that was delicious, for me one of the main flavours of Jamaican rice and peas has to be the black-eyed beans. They have a much earthier, smokier taste than the red ones which are a little sweet.....That's what I love so much about rice and peas and of course lovely Loobya Polow.....


  1. Loving hearing about all these Persian recipes.

  2. Thanks Caz. I think that this recipe, along with Zereshk Pollow are my all time favourite rice recipes. Zereshk are little dried barberries. When cooked they rehydrate into what look like tiny rubies decorating the rice. When you bite into them it's like a little explosion of sharp tangy berry juice that goes so well with the rice. It's usually served with Saffron Chicken another colourful delight. yummm.....