Rice with Green Beans
Loobia Polow لوبیا پلو
– 500 g (1 lb) Basmati long grain rice
– 500 g (1 lb) meat, ground or small pieces
– 500 g (1 lb) string beans
– 1 medium onion
– 2 tbs tomato paste
– 1/3 cup oil
– 1/2 tsp ground saffron
– 2 tbs lime juice
– salt and pepper
1. After washing the rice thoroughly, soak the rice in salted lukewarm water to cover by 2 inches for 3 to 4 hours.
2. String the beans, wash and chop into 1-inch lengths.
3. Slice the onion and fry in a little oil until it turns golden brown. Add the meat and continue to cook until the meat is half done. Add the beans and continue to cook over low heat until all cooked. Add tomato paste, 2 tbs lime juice and 1/4 tsp saffron, salt, and pepper and remove from heat after a couple more minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook the mixture.
4. In a large saucepan, bring 8 to 12 cups of water to a rapid boil.
5. Pour off excess water from rice and pour into boiling water. Bring back to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. The grains should be firm in the center and rather soft on the outside. Strain and rinse with lukewarm water. Toss gently in the colander.
6. Bring 1/4 cup water and 2 to 3 tbs oil to the rapid boil. Add layers of rice and the mixture of beans and meat interchangeably building it up to a conical shape.
7. Poke 5 or 6 holes through the rice to the bottom with the handle of a spoon. Close the lid. Keep on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until rice is steaming.
8. Heat up 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbs oil and pour over the rice. Wrap the saucepan lid with a clean tablecloth and cover the pan firmly. Reduce heat to low for 45 minutes to an hour.
9. After removing from heat, place the saucepan in the sink and run cold water under it to cool down.
10. Add 1/4 tsp saffron to 1 tbs hot water. Lightly mix 2 to 3 tbs of rice with the liquid saffron in a small bowl. Set it aside for garnish.
11. To dish up, gently toss the rice and sprinkle lightly in a dish in a symmetrical mound. Garnish with the saffron rice.
12. Remove the crusty bottom and serve on a separate plate.