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Adas Polo (Lentil Rice)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 15 min
Yields: 6 to 8 servings


2 cups lentils
6 cups water
2 cups raisins
2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons oil
2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water

3 cups long grain basmati rice washed and drained
10 cups water
1½ tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons oil

Safrron Mixture
¼ cup water
¼ cup oil
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)


For lentils: Place the cleaned and washed lentils in a medium size pot. Add 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.
For Raisins: Heat butter and raisins in a medium size skillet over low heat until the butter is melted. Take off heat and set aside.

For meat: While the lentils are cooking, heat 4 tablespoons oil in a medium size pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add meat, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat for 1 hour or until the meat is fork tender.

For rice: Bring 10 cups of water and 1½ tablespoons salt to a boil in a 6-quart nonstick pot. Add the rice, bring back to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes over medium heat or until the rice rises to the top. Drain in a mesh colander.
Assembly: Add 4 tablespoons oil to the same pot used to cook the rice. Layer rice, lentils, raisins and meat. Continue to alternate the layers until all the ingredients are used. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, all the way to the bottom of the pot to allow steam to escape. Cover, cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Dissolve saffron in ¼ cup hot water, mix with ¼ cup oil (4 tablespoons), pour over the rice. Place a clean dishtowel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with a lid to absorb the steam. Lower heat to medium low, cook for 50 minutes.
To serve, gently spoon the rice mixture onto a serving plate lightly mixing the ingredients. The bottom of the rice develops a crisp crust that you can serve on a separate plate.

This rice can also be prepared with chicken. For vegetarian version omit meat.