Adas Polo or Adas Polow
Cuisine: Persian / Iranian
The Adas Polo is another Persian classic recipe that seldom needs further introduction. The ingredients are available all year long. There are many, many variations of this recipe; some recipes, like this one, are meatless, some use lamb, others use beef, some employ a different mix of spices – the variations are… endless.
Serves 4 – 6
Cooking time: 35 min
You need: a skillet, a colander, a rice-cooker and a pot
Notes: It requires soaking for 2 hrs prior to cooking
- 1 + 1⁄2 cups lentils, soaked
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/4 Tsp pepper
- 1/2Tsp turmeric
- 1/4Tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 Tsp nutmeg
- 1/4Tsp cardamom
- 1/8 Tsp cumin
- 1/2Tsp saffron, dissolved in 2 Tbsp of water – use a pestle and mortar to crush the saffron before you dissolve it in the water.
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4cup dates, pitted and chopped
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter, melted. If available do prefer Ghee.
- Optional: 1 potato, sliced into thin rounds
- Wash the rice and soak it for 2 hours (see here)
- Wash the lentils very well, leave them to soak for 2 hours and drain them.
- Wash the raisins and pat-dry them on a kitchen paper.
- Take a large saucepan, add salt, water and the lentils.
- Bring it to a boil then reduce the fire to low and simmer the lentils for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Take a colander, drain the water from the lentils and set them aside.
- In a skillet, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until they are golden.
- Add the raisins, the dates and the spices – except for the saffron.
- Mix well and set aside.
- Cook the rice. Most of us use rice-cookers, so…
- Add the rice in the rice cooker with how ever much water it requires. (Usually 2 measures of water for one measure of rice. Brown rice needs more water.
- Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
- After it’s done, transfer the rice to a large bowl.
- Take a pot.
- Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
- Add a layer of potato slices.
- On top of the potatoes add a layer of rice.
- On top of the rice add a layer of the lentil-raisin-date mix.
- Keep on going; the top layer should be rice.
- Cover the pot and cook on medium fire for 10 minutes or so.
- Drizzle the melted butter and the saffron-water over the rice.
- Cover the top of the pot with a towel to prevent steam from escaping, and put a lid on top of the towel.
- Cook on low fire for about 30 minutes.
- At the end of the process the potatoes on the bottom are going to be crispy and the rice will be steamed and infused with the aromas of your spices.
- Ready to serve.
Notes Rice with Green Lentils, Raisins and Dates Persian Style – Adas Polo
- Phases 1, 2 and 3 can be done simultaneously: put the lentils to simmer, put the rice to cook and saute the onions and the rest while the rest is cooking.
- In Phase 4 it is common practice to arrange the layers like a pyramid, so that the steam comes out of the sides.
- The crispy bottom is called Tahdig or Tadig and is much prized in Iran.
- Using a potato is optional – but it does make for a very nice crisp. 🙂